Research finds genetic differential in stress response

(Medical Xpress)—Genetics play a role in whether stress makes people depressed and in how quickly they recover, new research on the effects of the 9/11 terrorist bombing finds.

La Follette School of Public Affairs professor Jason Fletcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison examined answers to survey questions asked by the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and correlated the answers to molecular DNA information the study also collects. "This large national survey explores the influences of individual attributes and environmental factors in determining health and health-related behaviors," says Fletcher, who published his findings in May in the journal Biodemography and Social Biology.

Wave 3 of the study's data collection covered the months before and after the of Sept. 11, 2001. It included several measures of the mental health of the , who were 18 to 26 years old when surveyed in 2001-02. "The study allows the use of a measure of an external stress that is objective rather than self-reported," Fletcher says.

Almost 60 percent of the sample was interviewed after 9/11, Fletcher says. "They had higher rates of reported depressive symptoms, especially reports of . Participants with a particular gene appear to be at an increased risk for sadness. Others with a different genetic variant reported less of an increase in sadness, which suggests their genetic makeup protects them."

Another group with a particular genotype recovered from the sadness more slowly than those without, Fletcher adds.

"Overall, the evidence suggests that genetic endowments are an important source of variation in response to a stressful event in producing some in young adults," Fletcher says.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Research finds soda tax does little to decrease obesity

Apr 01, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—Extra sales taxes on soda may not do anything to improve people's health, according to new research from health economist Jason Fletcher of the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the ...

Understanding binge eating and obesity

Mar 19, 2014

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have developed a novel method for evaluating the treatment of obesity-related food behavior. In an effort to further scientific understanding of the underlying problem, ...

Recommended for you

Gender disparities in cognition will not diminish

13 hours ago

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, investigated the extent to which improvements in living conditions and educational opportunities over a person's life affect cognitive abilities and th ...

Facial features are the key to first impressions

13 hours ago

A new study by researchers in the Department of Psychology at the University of York shows that it is possible to accurately predict first impressions using measurements of physical features in everyday images of faces, such ...

User comments