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ELSI Friday Forum 2023

The Genomics of PTSD Risk: Scientific and Ethical Perspectives


This ELSI Friday Forum took place on November 10, 2023.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop following a traumatic event such as natural disaster, sexual or physical assault, or war. Not all people exposed to the same trauma will develop PTSD—rates differ based on the nature of the exposure but also environmental and genetic factors. Using genomics to identify those most at risk for PTSD and better understanding its etiologic pathways could help clinicians and others, including the military, to better treat, prevent, and minimize risk for the disorder. But the use of genomic screening to predict PTSD risk in occupational contexts like military service also raises ethical challenges. Drawing on research with the US VA’s Million Veterans Program, this webinar explores the scientific and medical promise of PTSD genomics and the ethics of using genetic markers for PTSD vulnerability and resilience in high-risk occupational contexts like the military.

Join the discussion with panelists Murray B. Stein, MD, MPH and Eric Juengst, PhD, MA moderated by Josephine Johnston, LLB, MHBL.


Polygenic risk scores