Resilience: Genetic Variants Involved in Surviving Childhood Trauma

Exposure to childhood trauma, such as exposure to abuse, violence, or repeated stress, can have a long-lasting effect. Adults who were exposed to childhood trauma have higher rates of depression, PTSD, suicide, and anxiety disorders. The question that researchers have attempted to answer is: Why…

BDNF variants: introversion, stress resilience, depression

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a protein that works in the central and peripheral nervous system to promote nerve function and growth. It also works in the neurons of the brain both in forming neurons and in long-term memory formation. BDNF also is involved…

Circadian Rhythm Genes: Mood Disorders

Roosters crowing at the first crack of daylight. Morning glories unfurling their blooms as the sun rises in the sky. Lightning bugs flickering just as dusk falls. Most people intuitively understand that plants respond to sunlight, using photosynthesis to produce energy and store sugar…

Serotonin: How your genes affect this neurotransmitter

check your 23andMe data for serotonin gene mutations

Serotonin… a word that brings to mind a commercial that might show our happy brain neurons bouncing serotonin between them. There is a lot more to this molecule than most of us realize! This article covers the way that serotonin is made in the…

Hacking BDNF for weight loss

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a fascinating growth hormone that performs many functions in our brain. Its involvement helps to support neurons and neuronal growth. In addition, it plays a role in long-term memory — and it also is important in obesity. Researchers refer…

Is the nootropic drug modafinil likely to work for you?

modafinil genes

Modafinil is being used as a nootropic drug that increases alertness and gives a sense of well being — to some users. Like most drugs, individual results seem to vary.  One reason for the variation is a common genetic variation in the COMT gene….

Genetics of Grinding Your Teeth

It never fails to amaze me how many of our quirks and traits have a genetic basis.  A study that came out last week caught my eye. Bruxism, teeth grinding, is linked to a genetic variant. The study, Genetic polymorphisms in the serotoninergic system are…