The Risk of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder After Trauma Depends on Traumatic Load and the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Val158Met Polymorphism

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2010
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Kolassa, Stephan
Papassotiropoulos, Andreas
Quervain, Dominique J.-F. de
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Stress and trauma-associated immunological changes and their implications on health
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Biological Psychiatry ; 67 (2010), 4. - pp. 304-308
Abstract
Background
The risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) depends on the number of traumatic event types experienced in a dose response relationship, but genetic factors are known to also influence the risk of PTSD. The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism has been found to affect fear extinction and might play a role in the etiology of anxiety disorders.
Methods
Traumatic load and lifetime and current diagnosis of PTSD and COMT genotype were assessed in a sample of 424 survivors of the Rwandan Genocide living in the Nakivale refugee camp in southwestern Uganda.
Results
Higher numbers of different lifetime traumatic event types led to a higher prevalence of lifetime PTSD in a dose response relationship. However, this effect was modulated by the COMT genotype: whereas Val allele carriers showed the typical dose response relationship, Met/Met homozygotes exhibited a high risk for PTSD independently of the severity of traumatic load.
Conclusions
The present findings indicate a gene environment interaction between the human COMT Val158Met polymorphism and the number of traumatic event types experienced in the risk of developing PTSD.
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150 Psychology
Keywords
COMT polymorphism,genetic polymorphisms,post-traumatic stress disorder,refugees,risk
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Cite This
ISO 690KOLASSA, Iris-Tatjana, Stephan KOLASSA, Verena ERTL, Andreas PAPASSOTIROPOULOS, Dominique J.-F. de QUERVAIN, 2010. The Risk of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder After Trauma Depends on Traumatic Load and the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Val158Met Polymorphism. In: Biological Psychiatry. 67(4), pp. 304-308. Available under: doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2009.10.009
BibTex
@article{Kolassa2010Postt-10635,
  year={2010},
  doi={10.1016/j.biopsych.2009.10.009},
  title={The Risk of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder After Trauma Depends on Traumatic Load and the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Val158Met Polymorphism},
  number={4},
  volume={67},
  journal={Biological Psychiatry},
  pages={304--308},
  author={Kolassa, Iris-Tatjana and Kolassa, Stephan and Ertl, Verena and Papassotiropoulos, Andreas and Quervain, Dominique J.-F. de}
}
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