An interesting article published on the 4 April in Medical News Today (MNT) may have provided an interesting insight into what causes PTSD. A recent study conduct by Dr Armen Goenjian, a research professor of psychiatry and his team at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA and published in the April 3 online edition of the Journal of Affective Disorders, suggests that there may be some inherited susceptibility to why some people get post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and others don’t, even when they are exposed to the same trauma and fear inducing situations.
So maybe there is a gene involved in causing PTSD after all!“UCLA scientists have linked two genes involved in serotonin production to a higher risk of developing PTSD. These findings suggest that it may now be possible to screen for PSTD susceptibility and news ways for treating the disorder may be on the horizon. “People can develop post-traumatic stress disorder after surviving a life-threatening ordeal like war, rape or a natural disaster,” explained lead author Dr. Armen Goenjian. “If confirmed, our findings could eventually lead to new ways to screen people at risk for PTSD and target specific medicines for preventing and treating the disorder.” PTSD can arise following child abuse, terrorist attacks, sexual or physical assault, major accidents, natural disasters or exposure to war or combat. Symptoms include flashbacks, feeling emotionally numb or hyper-alert to danger, and avoiding situations that remind one of the original trauma. “We suspect that the gene variants produce less serotonin, predisposing these family members to PTSD after exposure to violence or disaster,” said Goenjian. “Our next step will be to try and replicate the findings in a larger, more heterogeneous population.” Affecting about 7 percent of Americans, PTSD has become a pressing health issue for a large percentage of war veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The UCLA team’s discovery could be used to help screen persons who may be at risk for developing PTSD. According to Goenjian, pinpointing genes connected with PTSD symptoms will help neuroscientists classify the disorder based on brain biology instead of clinical observation. Psychiatrists currently rely on a trial and error approach to identify the best medication for controlling an individual patient’s symptoms.
To Know What Causes PTSDWhat is causing PTSD may now indicate a genetic predisposition to getting PTSD if exposed to traumatic situations such as war conditions may help with managing trauma and the ‘re-wind technique’ can be supported by more targeted medical interventions as well. This is interesting and good news. Will keep you posted!
Related Reading:In learning how to deal with anxiety, the issue of prescribe medicine often crops up. Have you found yourself wondering whether you need to take medication for your anxiety? In short, Yes and No I have already cover some of the conditions when the taking of medication is advisable, especially if the primary problem is depression with anxiety as a component of the Mood Disorder. This is when you must use professional help Two big issues which you need to be aware of in working out how to deal with anxiety are:
- Some medications, especially the Benzodiazepines, used to quell anxiety can be addictive, especially after long-term use, and should not be terminated suddenly as it is quite likely to trigger a panic attack.
- Be careful of self medication with OTC drugs, alcohol, herbs or other compounds as they often lead to an array of secondary problems.
- Some of the anxiety disorders respond well to SNRIs, such as Effexor, and in some cases may be all you need.