Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2007;31(3):348-62. Epub 2006 Nov 28.

The genetic background to PTSD.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Academic Medical Centre-De Meren, University of Amsterdam, Tafelbergweg 25, 1105 BC Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Although extensive research has already been done on the genetic bases of psychiatric disorders, little is known about polygenetic influences in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This article reviews molecular genetic studies relating to PTSD that were found in a literature search in Medline, Embase and Web of Science. Association studies have investigated 8 major genotypes in connection with PTSD. They have tested hypotheses involving key candidate genes in the serotonin (5-HTT), dopamine (DRD2, DAT), glucocorticoid (GR), GABA (GABRB), apolipoprotein systems (APOE2), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neuropeptide Y (NPY). The studies have produced inconsistent results, many of which may be attributable to methodological shortcomings and insufficient statistical power. The complex aetiology of PTSD, for which experiencing a traumatic event forms a necessary condition, makes it difficult to identify specific genes that substantially contribute to the disorder. Gene-finding strategies are difficult to apply. Interactions between different genes and between them and the environment probably make certain people vulnerable to developing PTSD. Gene-environmental studies are needed that focus more narrowly on specific, distinct endophenotypes and on influences from environmental factors.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center