Genetic Study of Military Vets Links PTSD to Anxiety and Depressive Disorders –

ptsddepressionmilitaryhealt 924809 — Emotional Well-being, Mental Health, Psychiatrists, Psychologists

Examining the genomes of more than 250,000 “Million Veteran Program” participants, the researchers identified genetic ties among post-traumatic tension disorder (PTSD) and anxiousness and depressive issues. The study findings have been published in Nature Genetics.

The researchers performed genome-wide association research of PTSD in military veterans of the United States to discover the genetic association with 2 frequent comorbidities, depression and anxiousness. They also examined brain regions impacted, all with an eye toward aiding investigation into doable drug targets.

The researchers made use of biobanks inside the US Veterans Affairs Million Veteran Program. They incorporated PTSD phenotypic definitions and PTSD subdomains. They made use of genomic structural equation modeling to ascertain genetic relationships among PTSD and clinically comorbid phenotypes: main depressive disorder, anxiousness, and neuroticism.

The researchers identified a genetic overlap in PTSD symptoms. Several genes have been identified across the PTSD phenotype. The gene MAD1L1, which is also tied to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, was repeatedly identified in participants.

The researchers do not know if PTSD differs by trauma sort or developmental timing. Inquiry into frequent genetic variants was restricted.

Although the association research and hypotheses provide fascinating clues, the researchers concluded, “Many other functional genomics tools can, and should, be brought to bear on the study of PTSD, expanding the scope of inquiry to encompass a holistic, integrative functional genomic analysis of this common, serious and yet still poorly understood and inadequately treated neuropsychiatric disorder.”

Disclosure: Some study authors declared affiliations with sector. Please see the original reference for a complete list of authors’ disclosures.


Stein MB, Levey DF, Cheng Z, et al Department of Veterans Affairs Cooperative Studies Program (no. 575B) VA Million Veteran Program. Genome-wide association analyses of post-traumatic stress disorder and its symptom subdomains in the Million Veteran Program. Nat Genet. 202153(2):174-184. doi:10.1038/s41588-020-00767-x

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