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The relevance of epigenetics to PTSD: implications for the DSM-V

, : The relevance of epigenetics to PTSD: implications for the DSM-V. Journal of Traumatic Stress 22(5): 427-434

Epigenetic modifications, such as DNA methylation, can occur in response to environmental influences to alter the functional expression of genes in an enduring and potentially, intergenerationally transmissible manner. As such, they may explain interindividual variation, as well as the long-lasting effects of trauma exposure. Although there are currently no findings that suggest epigenetic modifications that are specific to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or PTSD risk, many recent observations are compatible with epigenetic explanations. These include recent findings of stress-related gene expression, in utero contributions to infant biology, the association of PTSD risk with maternal PTSD, and the relevance of childhood adversity to the development of PTSD. The relevance of epigenetic mechanisms to formulations of PTSD for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) is described.


PMID: 19813242

DOI: 10.1002/jts.20448

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