Gene Responsible For Social Phobia Identified

Posted: Mar 10 2017, 9:25am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

Gene Responsible for Social Phobia Identified
In the Department of Genomics at the Life & Brain research center: Dr. Andreas Forstner (seated at the front), associate professor (Privatdozent) Dr. Rupert Conrad and psychologist Stefanie Rambau. Credit: Foto: Katharina Wislsperger/UKB-Ukom

Genetic research is not only crucial for biochemical diseases but also play a big role in the manifestation of psychological disorders. Researchers at the University of Bonn have found out even problems such as social phobias have a genetic basis.

According to the researchers a gene may be responsible for causing anxiety disorder which currently affects 1 in 10 individuals.

The gene is responsible for suppressing feelings of anxiety and depressiveness by encoding a serotonin transporter in the human brain.

Social phobia can be identified with symptoms such as heart palpitations, trembling, short breathes etc. when a person is surrounded by other people. the current research found the serotonin transporter gene SLC6A4 is involved in causing social phobia.

The research work was carried out at the Policlinic for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy at the University Hospital Bonn. The research was carried out on a total of 321 patients with anxiety issues.

The scientists also found the SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) carry out the mechanism which causes anxiety.

In different people different positions of genes in the DNA affect people. The changes which occur in the DNA are caused by SNPs and more than 13 million are present in the human DNA. Along with the SLC6A4 gene about 24 SNPs are indicated to cause social phobias and other mental disorders.

The results will be published in the journal Psychiatric Genetics.

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