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Genetic Risk Markers for PTSD Found in US Soldiers

JAMA Psychiatry; ePub 2016 May 11; Stein, Chen, et al

In the largest genome-wide association of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to date, involving a military sample, limited evidence of association for specific loci was found, according to researchers who conducted a recent study. Their objective was to discover genetic loci associated with a lifetime risk for PTSD in 2 cohorts from the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS). The New Soldier Study (NSS) included 3,167 unique patients with RTSD and 4,607 trauma-exposed controls; the Pre/Post Deployment Study (PPDS) included 947 unique patients with PTSD and 4,969 trauma-exposed controls. The NSS population was 80.7% male (6,277 of 7,774 participants; mean age, 20.9 [3.3] years); the PPDS population, 94.4% male (5,583 of 5,916 participants; mean age, 26.5 [6.0] years). They found:

• A genome-wide significant locus was found in ANKRD55 on chromosome 5 and persisted after adjustment for cumulative trauma exposure in the African American samples from the NSS.

• A genome-wide significant locus was also found in or near ZNF626 on chromosome 19 in the European American samples from the NSS.

• Single-nucleotide polymorphism-based heritability was nonsignificant, and no significant genetic correlations were observed between PTSD and 6 mental disorders or 9 immune-related disorders.

Citation: Stein MB, Chen CY, Ursano RJ, et al. Genome-wide association of posttraumatic stress disorder in 2 cohorts of US Army soldiers. [Published online ahead of print May 11, 2016]. JAMA Psychiatry. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.0350.