We describe the results of the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) performed using trauma-exposed white non-Hispanic participants from a cohort of veterans and their intimate partners (295 cases and 196 controls). Several single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) yielded evidence of association. One SNP (rs8042149), located in the retinoid-related orphan receptor alpha gene (RORA), reached genome-wide significance. Nominally significant associations were observed for other RORA SNPs in two African-American replication samples—one from the veteran cohort (43 cases and 41 controls) and another independent cohort (100 cases and 421 controls). However, only the associated SNP from the veteran African-American replication sample survived gene-level multiple-testing correction. RORA has been implicated in prior GWAS studies of psychiatric disorders and is known to have an important role in neuroprotection and other behaviorally relevant processes. This study represents an important step toward identifying the genetic underpinnings of PTSD.


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