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Genes Help Explain Post-Trauma Puzzle

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CHICAGO - Cutting-edge new research helps answer the puzzling question of why post-traumatic stress doesn't happen to everyone who endures horrible trauma.

In this case, the trauma was child abuse. The researchers found that survivors of child abuse were particularly likely to have symptoms of post-traumatic stress as adults if they also had specific variations in a stress-related gene.

Among adult survivors of severe child abuse, those with the specific gene variations scored more than twice as high (31) on a scale of post-traumatic stress, compared with those without the variations (13).

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