Gene Variant May Increase Psychiatric Risk After TBI

A variant of the APOE gene may be linked to worse psychiatric symptoms in people who have had a traumatic brain injury, found a VA San Diego Healthcare System study. Study participants with both the gene variant and at least one TBI had more severe symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, and depression than comparison participants.

Genes influence brain cortex structure

Evidence for a genetic influence on a brain structure critical to intelligence was reported Monday in a study by Norwegian and UC San Diego researchers. Researchers found that changes in the thickness of the brain’s cortex, the seat of cognition, are linked to its genetically determined organization.

Gene Networks for Innate Immunity Linked to PTSD Risk

Researchers at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System and University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues in New York and the United Kingdom, have identified genetic markers, derived from blood samples that are linked to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The markers are associated with gene networks that regulate innate immune function and interferon signaling.

Vietnam-era Twin Study Yields Genetic Brain Map

How do genes affect brain development and function? Scientists seeking clues may now have an edge thanks to a new “brain atlas” developed by VA researchers and colleagues. The research, described in the March 30 issue of Science, involves twins who served in the military during the Vietnam era.

Twin Times: News for Participants in the Vietnam Era Twin Registry

Through the VETSA studies, Drs. Kremen and Lyons hope to learn about the influence genes have on the aging brain. The VETSA studies include over 1,200 VET  Registry twins, and follow-up research on these twins is currently underway. Over 1,000 twins have already participated in the ongoing VETSA 2 follow-up, and plans are being made for the VETSA 3 follow-up. This project has resulted in over 50 published articles in the scientific literature, including a March 2012 article in Science, one of the world’s top scientific journals.