*Holocaust mothers and offspring PTSD

Yehuda, Bell, Bierer, Schmeidler 2008

Abstract

117 men and 167 women recruited from community evaluated using comprehensive psychiatric battery to identify traumatic life experiences and lifetime psychiatric diagnoses

211 of these were adult offspring of Holocaust survivors with 73 Jewish controls – subdivided by mother, father, neither, or both parents met criteria for lifetime PTSD

RESULTS:

Maternal PTSD specifically associated with PTSD in adult offspring of Holocaust survivors, but not other psychiatric diagnoses did not show specific effects associated with maternal PTSD

CONCLUSIONS:

“The tendency for maternal PTSD to make a greater contribution than paternal PTSD to PTSD risk suggests that classic genetic mechanisms are not the sole model of transmission, and paves way for the speculation that epigenetic factors may be involved.  In contrast, PTSD in any parent contributes to risk for depression, and parental traumatization is associated with increased anxiety disorders in offspring.”

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