mc_squared Posted July 6, 2010 Share Posted July 6, 2010 Stressed? It's all in the genes: Researchers discover ability to cope is down to parents By Fiona Macrae Last updated at 8:28 AM on 6th July 2010 Comments (8) Add to My Stories Stressed out? Then blame your parents. Scientists have identified a gene that affects our ability to cope when the going gets tough. The finding helps explain why some people keep a cool head in even the most difficult of times, while others fall to pieces. Stressed out: Scientists found the amygdala, a brain region that helps keep emotions in check, was more active in those who had inherited a particular gene It may also mean that if your working or home life is winding you up, you shouldn't immediately blame your boss or your children. After all, with genes being inherited, the root cause of your stress is your parents. Researcher Professor Guillen Fernandez used scanners to look at how people's brains lit up under stress. In this case, the stress took the form of a violent scene in a film, followed by a series of pictures of angry and frightened faces. He found the amygdala, a 'primitive' brain region that helps keep our emotions in check, was more active in those who had inherited the 'stressed out gene'. Around half of us have this gene, making us more wary of problems - but also more vulnerable to pressures, the Forum of European Neuroscience Societies annual conference heard. Professor Guillen, of the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour in Nijmegen said: 'This individual genetic difference only surfaces when people are subjected to stress. 'This is the first time a genetic variation has been found that shows a different response to emotional stimuli only when individuals are stressed.' He added: 'We are currently investigating whether these people are also more prone to developing post-traumatic stress disorder after experiencing a real trauma.' Stress is not the only emotion to be decoded by scientists. They have previously shown that the genes we inherit help determine whether we have a cool head or a short fuse. Our genes also help determine whether we look on the bright side, helping explain why some people have a spring in their step, while others like nothing better than a good grumble. Earlier this year, a study revealed that one in five of us has inherited 'unfitness genes' that mean no matter how often we pound the treadmill, we'll still be out of puff. The Royal Veterinary College researchers focused on aerobic fitness but believe our DNA could also affect our ability to burn off fat through exercise. Even the amount of romance in our lives can be partially traced back to our DNA. Research shows some of the secrets of attraction are hidden in immune system genes and the more varied they are, the more boyfriends a woman will have. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1292281/Stress-Its-genes-Researchers-discover-ability-cope-parents.html#ixzz0stZSrSlv Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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