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Post: PTSD tied to 95 ‘risk hotspots’ in the genome

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PTSD tied to 95 'risk hotspots' in the genome
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A huge, new study pinpoints places in the human genome that are tied to PTSD. The world’s largest-ever genetic study of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has uncovered 95 hotspots in the genome that are tied to the condition, including 80 that were previously unknown.

This treasure trove of genetic data could eventually lead to new therapies for PTSD, scientists say.

PTSD is a mental health condition that can develop after exposure to a traumatic or stressful event. For many, PTSD can become a chronic condition ; the chronic form affects about 10% of the general population and 20% to 30% of high risk populations, such as combat survivors and assault victims.

Earlier genetic studies focused on identical twins and showed that a person’s genetics has a big influence on their susceptibility to PTSD, similar to addiction or depression. These studies, however, only revealed a pixel of the complex picture that is the genetic architecture of PTSD, which could involve hundreds of genes.

Related: Traumatic memories are processed differently in PTSD

In the new study, published April 18 in the journal Nature Genetics , a consortium of scientists from around the world combined multiple collections of genetic data from more than 1 million people — approximately 13% with PTSD and 87% without.

The researchers used this huge data collection to conduct a genome-wide association study (GWAS). These involve sequencing the genomes of many individuals who either do or don’t have a condition. Researchers then look for genetic features, or "markers," which are […]

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