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Brain Chemistry Study Sheds Light on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

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CBS St. Louis (con't)

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DEKALB, IL. (KMOX) - Scientists are hoping a traumatic and deadly incident on an Illinois college campus can lead to a better understanding of post traumatic stress disorder.

A study of students at Northern Illinois University after a gunman killed five students and wounded more than a dozen in a lecture hall shows they way they reacted and the psychological impact years later could be in their genes. 

Researchers have found that symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder were more common in students who had certain variations in a gene that regulates levels of serotonin.

Researchers say the results could someday lead to new treatment and predict who might develop the condition.

The study is unique because it involved 204 undergraduate women on the DeKalb Campus who by coincidence were taking part in a study that measured stress before the 2008 shootings — so before-and-after information is available.

Copyright Associated Press

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