The Power of Genetics in Predicting & Treating PTSD

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Speakers: Laramie Duncan, PhD, Stanford University; Heather Lasseter, PhD, Cohen Veterans Bioscience; Lauren Chaby, PhD, Cohen Veterans Bioscience

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects veterans, active military personnel, and civilians. While treatments exist, they are not effective for many people, and very little is known about genetic risk factors for PTSD. One of the key challenges in developing better treatments – and preventative measures – is that the underlying biological mechanisms are not thoroughly understood. It is now clear that PTSD is partly a genetic disorder, meaning that some people are more predisposed to develop PTSD than others. Hence, a better understanding of the genetic risk factors of PTSD will help to develop new diagnostic tests and treatments for PTSD and inform strategies for preventing PTSD following exposure to trauma.

Modern genetic studies offer unique opportunities for discoveries that will fuel future treatment and prevention efforts. This talk will cover major findings from the last 25 years of PTSD genetics. Groundbreaking discoveries in recent years have identified specific genetic risk factors for PTSD. Such discoveries include those by the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC)-PTSD Working Group, which has conducted a powerful genome-wide association study (GWAS) of PTSD. This talk will describe how massive sample sizes (of hundreds of thousands of participants) were used to make these discoveries, what they mean for research and for individuals with PTSD, and what is possible in the near future.

Webinar Agenda:

– What is Genetics?

– Accelerating Discovery of Genetic Markers

– PTSD Genetics: Heritability, and Why Genetics is Useful!

– Major Findings in PTSD Genetics

– PGC-PTSD: Landmark Study & Future Efforts

– Group Question & Answer

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