London: Feeling stressed? Then blame your
parents as scientists claim they have found an inherited gene
that affects one`s ability to with tense situations.
Dutch scientists at Donders Institute for Brain,
Cognition and Behaviour in Nijmegen found that a gene, which
people inherit from their parents, influences the ability to
cope with the going gets tough and keep emotions in check.
The finding, according to the researchers, explains why
some people keep a cool head in even the most difficult of
times, while others fall to pieces, the Daily Mail reported.
The scientists, led by Prof Guillen Fernandez, used
scanners to look at how people`s brains lit up under stress.
In this case, the stress took the form of a violent scene
in a film, followed by a series of pictures of angry and
They found the amygdala -- a "primitive" brain region
that helps keep our emotions in check -- was more active in
those who had inherited the "stressed out gene".
Around half of us have this gene, making us more wary of
problems and vulnerable to pressures, the scientists told the
Forum of European Neuroscience Societies annual conference.
Professor Guillen said: "This individual genetic
difference only surfaces when people are subjected to stress.
"This is the first time a genetic variation has been
found that shows a different response to emotional stimuli
only when individuals are stressed."
He added: "We are currently investigating whether these
people are also more prone to developing post-traumatic stress
disorder after experiencing a real trauma."
Stress is not the only emotion to be decoded by
scientists. They have previously shown that the genes we
inherit help determine whether we have a cool head or a short
Earlier this year, a study revealed that one in five of
us has inherited "unfitness genes" that mean no matter how
often we pound the treadmill, we`ll still be out of puff.