High risk genes: Do they have benefits? August 16, 2011 7:43 AMSubscribe
Did you inherit your parents stress? Your grandparents stress? What about their environmental enrichment? Current research in rats is exploring possible mechanisms through which stressful and positive environments could affect our future children and grandchildren. Also something to consider in tandem: many of the genes associated with addiction and mental illness are also associated with resiliency. "The study found that stress experienced by young female rats can impair their future offspring, but can also improve resilience."
Research on what are believed to be high risk dopaminergenic genes has similarly found that the high risk genes both impair humans raised in adverse conditions but also may offer improved resiliency. The presence of the dopamine receptor (DRD4) 7 repeat allele tends to correlate with addiction, mental illness, poor health outcomes and cognitive defecits in humans raised in adverse childhood environments. However it appears it may also offer resiliency: