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Genetic and Environmental Predictors of Adolescent PTSD Symptom Trajectories Following a Natural Disaster

1
Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23298, USA
2
Department of Psychology, University of Windsor, Windsor, ON N9B 3P4, Canada
3
Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23298, USA
4
Departments of Nursing and Psychiatry, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Authors contributed equally to the manuscript.
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(6), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9060146
Received: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 19 June 2019 / Published: 20 June 2019
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Abstract

Genes, environmental factors, and their interplay affect posttrauma symptoms. Although environmental predictors of the longitudinal course of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms are documented, there remains a need to incorporate genetic risk into these models, especially in youth who are underrepresented in genetic studies. In an epidemiologic sample tornado-exposed adolescents (n = 707, 51% female, Mage = 14.54 years), trajectories of PTSD symptoms were examined at baseline and at 4-months and 12-months following baseline. This study aimed to determine if rare genetic variation in genes previously found in the sample to be related to PTSD diagnosis at baseline (MPHOSPH9, LGALS13, SLC2A2), environmental factors (disaster severity, social support), or their interplay were associated with symptom trajectories. A series of mixed effects models were conducted. Symptoms decreased over the three time points. Elevated tornado severity was associated with elevated baseline symptoms. Elevated recreational support was associated with lower baseline symptoms and attenuated improvement over time. Greater LGLAS13 variants attenuated symptom improvement over time. An interaction between MPHOSPH9 variants and tornado severity was associated with elevated baseline symptoms, but not change over time. Findings suggest the importance of rare genetic variation and environmental factors on the longitudinal course of PTSD symptoms following natural disaster trauma exposure. View Full-Text
Keywords: PTSD; longitudinal; natural disaster trauma; G × E; rare variants; adolescent risk PTSD; longitudinal; natural disaster trauma; G × E; rare variants; adolescent risk
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Sheerin, C.M.; Kovalchick, L.V.; Overstreet, C.; Rappaport, L.M.; Williamson, V.; Vladimirov, V.; Ruggiero, K.J.; Amstadter, A.B. Genetic and Environmental Predictors of Adolescent PTSD Symptom Trajectories Following a Natural Disaster. Brain Sci. 2019, 9, 146.

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