Genetic Origin of Panic Attacks

A Spanish investigation proves the genetic origin of panic attacks and anxiety as well. They studied 1300 people in 10 years.It is first time that he finds a biological cause. Most of the patients had a double chromosome. This would allow developing new pharmaceuticals for coping with the genetic origin of panic attacks.

BARCELONA .- a group of Spanish scientists has identified a genetic alteration that predisposes to suffer panic attacks, agoraphobia, social phobia and other manifestations of anxiety. The study, published yesterday in the magazine Cell, one of the more important in the field of the molecular biology, she was for Medical and Molecular Genetics Centers investigators and the Hospital of the sea, both in Barcelona .

This work offers the first evidence on the genetic factors that predispose to suffer psychiatric common affections like anxiety, and contributes biological bases for the development of these illnesses. Investigation proves a relation between anxiety and the articular laxity ( illness consisting of a great flexibility of the knuckle joints ), when checking than 70 % of the patients that suffered this disease he had attacks of anxiety.

Biological causes

The studies began ten years ago, and the relation between both illnesses was confirmed in a fact-finding later job performed at 1300 inhabitants’ locality of the province of Barcelona.According to Antoni Bulbena, person in charge of the psychiatric aspect of investigation, the anxiety disorders can provoke intense panic attacks, a chronic anxiety, explained being a determined event a reaction or resulting in various phobias, and its development has a great relation with family record. Until now, insurance did not have knowledge that anxiety had any biological cause, a discovery that has been able to come true thanks to the bigger knowledge of the human genome itself, Xavier Estivill, scientist that you have taken the genetic origin of panic attacks part of the discovery.

The biological cause is a duplication of the chromosome 15 ( named DUP25 ), the fact that he meets in more than 95 % of the patients with upset of panic and only upon 7 % of the general population. The chromosome is 15 very rich in some repetitive sequences that are known like duplicates and that are found in a lot of copies at the chromosomes regions where DUP25 takes place. Knowing the genetic cause of these diseases will be able to change the tools of cure developing new pharmaceuticals, and although in the case of panic and anxiety cannot speak of cure a remission of the panic attack symptoms itself if possible, according to the investigators. Knowing the genetic cause of these diseases will be able to change the tools of cure developing new pharmaceuticals, and although in the case of panic and anxiety cannot speak of cure a remission of the panic attack symptoms itself if possible, according to the investigators.

Dr. Miguel Marquez, a world recognized psychiatrist indicated that they verify similar numbers of prevalence to the ones of other countries. “Between the 12 and 15 % of the people they suffer some anxiety and panic attack symptoms at present, but it is estimated that 20 to the 25 % of the population, sometime of life, will have one of that episodes – the psychiatrist said -. It is saying: One of every four or five people is exposed to the problem to deal with the genetic origin of panic attacks.”