Understanding the interaction between fear and reward at the circuit and molecular levels has implications for basic scientific approaches to memory and for understanding the etiology of psychiatric disorders. Both stress and exposure to drugs of abuse induce epigenetic changes that result in persistent behavioral changes, some of which may contribute to the formation of a drug addiction or a stress-related psychiatric disorder. Converging evidence suggests that similar behavioral, neurobiological and molecular mechanisms control the extinction of learned fear and drug-seeking responses.
Altered stress reactivity is a predominant feature of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and may reflect disease vulnerability, increasing the probability that an individual will develop PTSD following trauma exposure. Environmental factors, particularly prior stress history, contribute to the developmental programming of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal stress axis. Critically, the consequences of stress experiences are transgenerational, with parental stress exposure impacting stress reactivity and PTSD risk in subsequent generations.
American Journal of Medical Genetics. Part B, Neuropsychiatric Genetics: The Official Publication of the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics
Genetic factors appear to be highly relevant to predicting differential risk for the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In a discovery sample, we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) for PTSD using a small military cohort (Systems Biology PTSD Biomarkers Consortium; SBPBC, N?=?147) that was designed as a case-controlled sample of highly exposed, recently returning veterans with and without combat-related PTSD.
BACKGROUND: DNA methylation of the SKA2 gene has recently been implicated as a biomarker of suicide risk and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). To examine the specificity and reliability of these findings, we examined associations between SKA2 DNA methylation, broad dimensions of psychiatric symptoms, and suicide phenotypes in adults with high levels of trauma exposure. METHODS: A total of 466 White, non-Hispanic veterans and their intimate partners (65% male) underwent clinical assessment and had blood drawn for genotyping and methylation analysis.
The aim of this study was to explore the nature and dimensions of institutional child abuse (IA) by the Austrian Catholic Church and to investigate the current mental health of adult survivors. Data were collected in two steps. First, documents of 448 adult survivors of IA (M=55.1 years, 75.7% men) who had disclosed their abuse history to a victim protection commission were collected. Different types of abuse, perpetrator characteristics, and family related risk factors were investigated.
The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry: Official Journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry
OBJECTIVES: This study examined the current prevalence, and demographic, military, health, and psychosocial correlates of loneliness in a contemporary nationally representative sample of older U.S. veterans. METHODS: Two thousand twenty-five veterans aged 60 years and older participated in the National Health and Resilience in Veterans Study. Loneliness was assessed using a questionnaire adapted from the Revised UCLA Loneliness Scale. A broad range of demographic, military, health, and psychosocial variables was also assessed.