Genes that trigger depression discovered

16 April 2018, 04:27 PM
Representational Image
Representational Image

Scientists have discovered around 80 genes that could be linked to depression, and it may help finding the solution of why some people are at a higher risk of developing it.

The study at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom even help to develop drugs to tackle mental depression.

Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, as per a research published in the journal Nature Communications.

Trauma and stress are supposedly the main cause to its onset but it is yet to be discovered why some people develop the condition more than others.

Scientists analysed data from UK Biobank - a research resource containing health and genetic information for half a million people. They had scanned the genetic code of 300,000 people to identify areas of DNA that could be linked to depression. Some of the genes scanned are known to be in function of synapses, micro connectors that allow brain cells to communicate with other.

"Depression is a common and often severe condition that affects millions of people worldwide," said Andrew McIntosh, a professor at the University of Edinburgh.

"These new findings help us better understand the causes of depression and show how the UK Biobank study and big data research has helped advance mental health research," added McIntosh.

"This study identifies genes that potentially increase our risk of depression, adding to the evidence that it is partly a genetic disorder," said David Howard, Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh.

"The findings also provide new clues to the causes of depression and we hope it will narrow down the search for therapies that could help people living with the condition," he said.

First Published: Monday, April 16, 2018 04:22 PM
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