Effects of Holocaust-Related PTSD on Second- and Third-Generation Offspring

ID Number 09-0763

Contact Information
Heather Bader
Tel: 718-741-4000 x6589
E-mail: heather.bader@va.gov

If your parent (or grandparent) is a survivor of the Nazi Holocaust, you may be eligible to participate in this study of how the Holocaust affected subsequent generations. Or you may be eligible to participate if your Jewish parent (or grandparent) was born between 1910 and 1940 and was living outside of Europe during World War II.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) runs in families but genetic differences can only account for some of this. Interestingly, environmental factors like diet, stress or prenatal nutrition may lead to a recalibration of biological systems via “epigenetics.” Epigenetics is a new scientific field of study about how changes in gene activity can be passed down from one generation to the next.  Epigenetic marks tell your gene whether to switch on or off.

Read an article about epigenetics

In this study, we are studying whether traumatic experiences, like being exposed to the Holocaust, can be passed from one generation to the next through epigenetic processes. If true, the epigenetic markers should be detectable in the children and grandchildren of people who survived the Holocaust. Participation will involve three visits, including a comprehensive evaluation, two blood draws and urine collection. You will be compensated up to $200 for your time.

Please call Heather Bader at 718-741-4000 x6589 if you are interested in participating or have any questions.