Let's talk about Misophonia & Genetics
Misophonia: when certain sounds may provoke strong emotional reactions in an individual (e.g. if the sound of somebody chewing may cause someone to feel enraged).
How it works
The cause of misophonia is not known, but scientists speculate that it may result from increased connections between the brain systems involved in hearing and the “fight or flight” response (that can trigger when we perceive a threat).
Did you know?
In a survey of over 80,000 23andMe customers of European descent, 23andMe researchers found that about 20 percent said they were “filled with rage” by the sound of others chewing.
The genetic link
23andMe researchers have identified one genetic marker associated with feeling rage at the sound of other people chewing. This genetic marker is located near the TENM2 gene, which is involved in brain development. Keep in mind that the genetic marker associated with this trait is just one piece of the puzzle, and that non-genetic factors also play a role.
Want to find out if you have a genetic variant associated with hating chewing sounds? 23andMe’s Health + Ancestry Service can tell you. Get the kit, spit and discover how your genetics may relate to misophonia.
Cavanna AE and Seri S. (2015). “Misophonia: current perspectives.” Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 11:2117-23.
23andMe. (2015). “White paper 23‐08: Genetic Associations with Traits in 23andMe Customers.”