AUG 08, 2021 8:44 AM PDT

Dietary Supplements Treat Genetic Cause of PTSD

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

A combination of two natural nutritional supplements, vitamin A and methyl donor S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), can treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in mice. The corresponding study was published in Molecular Psychiatry by researchers from Bar-Ilan University in Israel and McGill University in Canada. 

PTSD is an incapacitating mental disorder that occurs following traumatic events. Research from the last two decades has found that our experiences, including those that are traumatic, may produce epigenetically modify our genes, making them work differently than before. These changes may 'embed' PTSD-like patterns in the brain and nervous system, which go on to present as PTSD. 

In the current study, researchers sought to find whether epigenetic changes that occur following trauma cause PTSD. To do so, they studied mapped epigenetic DNA methylation marks in the nucleus accumbens, a part of the brain important for PTSD that plays a key role in reward and motivation, in animal models.

They found that the brains of animals exposed to trauma that did not develop PTSD-like behavior were markedly different from those exposed to trauma that did develop the condition. 

Further examination found that animals more susceptible to PTSD had lower levels of DNMT3A, an epigenetic enzyme that transfers methyl groups onto DNA. They also found that one group of genes altered by PTSD is controlled by the retinoic acid receptor, which is activated by vitamin A. 

Later experiments found that delivering DNMT3A and retinoic acid orphan receptor genes into animals' brains reverses PTSD-like symptoms. However, as injecting these genes into the brain is not feasible for therapy, the authors also tested whether nutritional supplements that mimic the activity of these genes could have similar effects. 

To do so, they administered methyl donor SAM, a natural product that donates methyl groups, alongside vitamin A to animals models of PTSD. Both supplements, when used together, reversed PTSD-like behaviors. 

"Since these nutritional supplements are relatively nontoxic, they offer hope for a nontoxic treatment of PTSD that reverses the underlying genomic cause of the disease," said Gal Yadid, lead author of the study.

 

Sources: Molecular PsychiatryNeuroscience News

About the Author
University College London
Annie Lennon is a writer whose work also appears in Medical News Today, Psych Central, Psychology Today, and other outlets. When she's not writing, she is COO of Xeurix, an HR startup that assesses jobfit from gamified workplace simulations.
You May Also Like
JUL 23, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Antibiotics Affect Gut Microbiome of Male and Female Rats Differently
JUL 23, 2022
Antibiotics Affect Gut Microbiome of Male and Female Rats Differently
Antibiotics induce sex-specific effects on the gut microbiome of male and female rats. The corresponding study was publi ...
AUG 25, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Seasonal Flu Could Get Knockout Punch from Antiviral Drugs and Antibody Therapy Combo
AUG 25, 2022
Seasonal Flu Could Get Knockout Punch from Antiviral Drugs and Antibody Therapy Combo
In a recent study published in Cell Reports Medicine, a team of researchers from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada ...
AUG 30, 2022
Clinical & Molecular DX
Caffeine Metabolite Could Slow Progression of Nearsightedness in Children
AUG 30, 2022
Caffeine Metabolite Could Slow Progression of Nearsightedness in Children
Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a common vision condition in which objects far away appear blurry. Myopia occu ...
SEP 04, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Brief Exposure to Cancer Drug Produces Anti-aging Effects in Mice
SEP 04, 2022
Brief Exposure to Cancer Drug Produces Anti-aging Effects in Mice
Brief exposure to rapamycin, a promising anti-aging drug, may have similar effects on health and lifespan as longer trea ...
SEP 11, 2022
Microbiology
Using Yeast Cells to Make a Cancer Treatment
SEP 11, 2022
Using Yeast Cells to Make a Cancer Treatment
Vinblastine and vincristine are both common chemotherapies that are used to treat several types of cancer. The drugs sto ...
SEP 26, 2022
Immunology
A Rheumatoid Arthritis-Promoting Molecule is Identified
SEP 26, 2022
A Rheumatoid Arthritis-Promoting Molecule is Identified
Researchers have found that a protein called sulfatase-2 may play a significant role in the tissue damage caused by rheu ...
Loading Comments...