Research finds genetic differential in stress response

May 14, 2014

(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.

Explore further: Research finds soda tax does little to decrease obesity

Related Stories

Research finds soda tax does little to decrease obesity

April 1, 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 University of ...

Understanding binge eating and obesity

March 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, they have ...

Recommended for you

For health and happiness, share good news

January 22, 2017

Service members, including both active and recently separated, have been called upon to fight overseas and to assist during natural disasters at home. They can face unique challenges when they return in both the workplace ...

The great unknown—risk-taking behaviour in adolescents

January 19, 2017

Adolescents are more likely to ignore information that could prompt them to rethink risky decisions. This may explain why information campaigns on risky behaviors such as drug abuse tend to have only limited success. These ...

Mandarin makes you more musical?

January 18, 2017

Mandarin makes you more musical - and at a much earlier age than previously thought. That's the suggestion of a new study from the University of California San Diego. But hold on there, overachiever parents, don't' rush just ...

Adoptees advantaged by birth language memory

January 18, 2017

Language learning very early on in life can be subconsciously retained even when no conscious knowledge of the early experience remains. The subconscious knowledge can then be tapped to speed up learning of the pronunciation ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.