A significant number of persons experience from high levels of trait anxiety. Trait anxiety may be linked to a scrupulous gene for the serotonin transporter (5HTT) protein. Those scoring high on anxiety (as measured by the NEO-PI neuroticism scale) were found to have a short variation of a polymorphic genetic allele coding for the serotonin transporter. Persons with the long variant scored drastically lower in anxiety (neuroticism). The short form of this gene results in concentrated 5HT transport and thus greater availability of 5HT at the postsynaptic site.
In late 1996, researchers came out with the results of a study to determine the effects of a certain gene on anxiety. 505 people were given behavior tests that calculate their tendency to worry. They were also given a blood test to conclude which form of the gene they had. People who had the more common version of the gene tended to be about 8% more anxious and worrisome that those who had the less general version.(Prentice Hall School.com)
The goal is to determine genes that influence brain functions that in turn affect how people cooperate with their environments. The research is slowed by the intricacy of the search: Many genes are liable for various aspects of people’s temperament, and those genes appear to interact with each other in complex ways that influence several traits at once and then likely only in very restrained ways, with anyone gene likely accounting for only 1 or 2 percent of the variance in a characteristic.
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