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PKCα is genetically linked to memory capacity in healthy subjects and to risk for posttraumatic stress disorder in genocide survivors


de Quervain, D J F; Kolassa, I T; Ackermann, S; Aerni, A; Boesiger, P; Demougin, P; Elbert, T; Ertl, V; Gschwind, L; Hadziselimovic, N; Hanser, E; Heck, A; Hieber, P; Huynh, K D; Klarhofer, M; Luechinger, R; Rasch, B; Scheffler, K; Spalek, K; Stippich, C; Vogler, C; Vukojevic, V; Stetak, A; Papassotiropoulos, A (2012). PKCα is genetically linked to memory capacity in healthy subjects and to risk for posttraumatic stress disorder in genocide survivors. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109(22):8746-8751.

Abstract

Strong memory of a traumatic event is thought to contribute to the development and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Therefore, a genetic predisposition to build strong memories could lead to increased risk for PTSD after a traumatic event. Here we show that genetic variability of the gene encoding PKCα (PRKCA) was associated with memory capacity--including aversive memory--in nontraumatized subjects of European descent. This finding was replicated in an independent sample of nontraumatized subjects, who additionally underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). fMRI analysis revealed PRKCA genotype-dependent brain activation differences during successful encoding of aversive information. Further, the identified genetic variant was also related to traumatic memory and to the risk for PTSD in heavily traumatized survivors of the Rwandan genocide. Our results indicate a role for PKCα in memory and suggest a genetic link between memory and the risk for PTSD.

Abstract

Strong memory of a traumatic event is thought to contribute to the development and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Therefore, a genetic predisposition to build strong memories could lead to increased risk for PTSD after a traumatic event. Here we show that genetic variability of the gene encoding PKCα (PRKCA) was associated with memory capacity--including aversive memory--in nontraumatized subjects of European descent. This finding was replicated in an independent sample of nontraumatized subjects, who additionally underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). fMRI analysis revealed PRKCA genotype-dependent brain activation differences during successful encoding of aversive information. Further, the identified genetic variant was also related to traumatic memory and to the risk for PTSD in heavily traumatized survivors of the Rwandan genocide. Our results indicate a role for PKCα in memory and suggest a genetic link between memory and the risk for PTSD.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Engineering
Dewey Decimal Classification:170 Ethics
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:14 Feb 2013 10:02
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:26
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences
ISSN:0027-8424
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1200857109
PubMed ID:22586106

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