Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
(PTSD) is a debilitating syndrome that occurs in only some people after exposure to traumatic events. Both genetic and psychological factors are thought to contribute to the vulnerability towards pathological response to trauma.This project aims to determine the relative contribution of genetic and trauma-related factors to risk for PTSD following trauma. We propose to study stress-related candidate genes that likely play important roles in mediating vulnerability to PTSD. This would be the first study to examine many of these genes that span a variety of functions including monoamine, neurotrophic, and hypothalamic-pituitary axis (HPA) regulation. In addition, we propose to study the interaction of these candidate genes with other known non-genetic risk factors. Finally, our proposal is novel because it will examine PTSD-related neuroendocrine and physiological endophenotypes that likely reflect the action of specific genes more directly than the complex diagnosis of PTSD itself.
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