Epigenetic changes show up in people with PTSD | Science News

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Epigenetic changes show up in people with PTSD

But it's unclear if alterations cause the disorder

6:15pm, May 3, 2010

People with post-traumatic stress disorder seem to accumulate an array of chemical modifications to their DNA that are different from those found in healthy people, researchers report online May 3 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The new findings, while showing differences between people with and without PTSD, don't shed light on whether these differences might play a role in PTSD, says study coauthor Sandro Galea, a physician and epidemiologist at Columbia University in New York City.

Only a fraction of people who witness a traumatic event develop PTSD. In an attempt to identify what makes people who develop PTSD biologically different from those who don’t, Galea and his colleagues obtained blood samples from 100 people in the Detroit area. All had been exposed to at least one potentially traumatic event, and 23 were diagnosed with PTSD. The scientists tested 14,000 genes in these blood samples for chemical changes to

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