Nature or Nurture: PTSD and the Amy Bishop Shooting

After surviving Amy Bishop shooting, UAH professor Joseph Ng launches research on PTSD

According to Eric Seemann, a psychology professor at UAH who is working with [UAH biology professor Dr. Joseph] Ng on the research project, most PTSD candidates never develop it. He estimates that only 10 to 20 percent are appropriately diagnosed with PTSD and that other candidates gradually recapture normalcy or suffer from lesser issues than PTSD.

“Most of the time, 85 percent, people do not develop PTSD,” Seeman said. “Why is that? Joe’s hypothesis is based on biological markers of resilience.”

Drs. Ng and Seemann are into some interesting stuff here.  You have the molecular biologist and the psychologist coming at the problem from the nature/nurture axes.  Who’s right?  That’s why you research.

“Every one of us has a different experience in terms of building up our immune system,” Ng said. “The day you were born, even by virtue of whether born by natural birth or C-section, will give you a different biome. So every human individual will have a different type of biome. That defines your immune system.

“So that means, why are some people more prone to getting sick? Or even to the extreme of being very sensitive to cancer? We said if that’s the case, if your immune system can be compromised or defined, is there a pattern of gene expression for immunity that may be associated with PTSD?”

Seemann brings an additional perspective to the study. In addition to possible biomarkers that Ng is searching for, Seemann said he believes environment plays a role as well in how PTSD affects a person.

I look forward to seeing what they find out.

Student Email Accounts at UAH

Back when I was getting my first ((I start my second on Wednesday)) baccalaureate degree at UAH, students were not automatically issued email accounts. This was 1997, and the University’s IT department created individual, access-limited accounts on a UNIX machine. If you knew what you were doing, you could do a lot of UNIX stuff… Continue reading Student Email Accounts at UAH

Save UAH Hockey!

If things get quiet around here, it’s because I’m working to save UAH Hockey.

Matt Sweazey and Scott Kalinchuk

Matt Sweazey and Scott Kalinchuk Originally uploaded by Geof F. Morris I’m proud of these shots … especially this one. I think it’s because Matty and Chuck are such good guys. I pretty much talk to Matty after every game these days … always with the handshake-into-the-man-hug.

On Depression in College

In a post-Virginia Tech world, it’s understandable that colleges and universities would want to watch “at-risk” students. But as NPR notes, more often these days the schools are sacrificing the student to limit their liability. I’ve become more vocal in the last year about mental health issues, mostly because I’ve owned up to mine and… Continue reading On Depression in College

“We’re not sitting on the porch playing banjos down here.”

When we played Colorado College to start our season, Scott Owens, CC’s radio voice and a former member of the Michigan State organization, called our coach, Danton Cole, to talk about the Alabama-Huntsville team. Cole is an MSU alum, and so the conversation was free and easy. And then Owens asked about recruiting. And then… Continue reading “We’re not sitting on the porch playing banjos down here.”

Practice | Day #4

Practice | Day #4 Originally uploaded by Geof F. Morris So the greatest amusement of my day was UAH head coach Danton Cole coming up to me and Will while we were watching UAH’s first practice and saying, “Hey, do you guys think you can help me get information out over Facebook?” This amused the… Continue reading Practice | Day #4

Five Years

Well, today is Mother’s Day, so it means that UAH will be having commencement. [They’ve been doing this for more than the decade I’ve been associated with the school.] And so I realized this after I cleared out the cobwebs: five years ago yesterday, I graduated from college. I’ve now been out of post-secondary education… Continue reading Five Years

Norm Has Nothing on This Guy

My friend Norm—and most anyone who went to UAH from, say, 1993-2003 knows Norm—spent ten years working on his degree; amusingly, he now works for the university. But he has nothing on Johnny Lechner, who’s spent twelve years at Wisconsin-Whitewater. I love the closing comment: Michelle Eigenberger, an editor at The Royal Purple, said Lechner… Continue reading Norm Has Nothing on This Guy