The authors of this study suggest that protein kinase Cα (PKCα) has a role in human memory and that there is a genetic link between memory and risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They specifically showed that genetic variability of the gene encoding PKCα was associated with memory capacity in non-traumatized subjects of European descent. They hypothesized that a genetic predisposition for developing strong memories could be a risk factor in developing PTSD. fMRI analysis of non-traumatized subjects revealed genotype-dependent brain activation differences during successful encoding of aversive information. The identified genetic variant was related to traumatic memory and to the risk for PTSD in heavily traumatized survivors of the Rwandan genocide.
de Quervain DJ-F, Kolassa I-T, Ackermann S et al.: PKCα is genetically linked to memory capacity in healthy subjects and to risk for posttraumatic stress disorder in genocide survivors. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA [Epub ahead of print May 14, 2012, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1200857109].