Researchers at Yale and elsewhere previously identified a host of genetic risk factors that help explain why some veterans are especially susceptible to the debilitating symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
A new Yale-led study published Sept. 30 in the journal Biological Psychiatry has now identified a social factor that can mitigate these genetic risks: the ability to form loving and trusting relationships with others.
The study is one of the first to explore the role of nurture as well as nature in its investigation of the biological basis of PTSD.
“We exist in a context. We are more than our genes,” said Yale’s Robert H. Pietrzak, associate professor of psychiatry and public health, and senior author of the study.
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