Phobias may be memories from ancestors

Phobias can be developed memories passed down in genes from ancestors. Memories are passed down through generations in DNA.    From left to right, the structures of A, B and Z DNA.    Image © wikimedia

New research has shown that it is possible for some information to be inherited biologically through chemical changes that occur in DNA.

By using mice researchers at the Emory University School of Medicine, in Atlanta, have found that they can pass on learned information about traumatic or stressful experiences.

According to Telegraph Dr Brian Dias, from the department of psychiatry at Emory University, said:

“We have begun to explore an underappreciated influence on adult behaviour – ancestral experience before conception.

From a translational perspective, our results allow us to appreciate how the experiences of a parent, before even conceiving offspring, markedly influence both structure and function in the nervous system of subsequent generations.

Such a phenomenon may contribute to the etiology and potential intergenerational transmission of risk for neuropsychiatric disorders such as phobias, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.”

via Telegraph

source Nature Neuroscience