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Gene Implicated in Depression and Addiction in Teenagers Identified

by Kathy Jones on December 19, 2013 at 8:44 PM
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 Gene Implicated in Depression and Addiction in Teenagers Identified

Researchers at Quebec's Douglas Institute Research Center have managed to isolate a gene that leaves teenagers highly vulnerable to psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, depression and addiction.

Known as DCC, the gene is responsible for dopamine connectivity in the medial prefrontal cortex during adolescence and the researchers found that a dysfunction of the gene during teenage years can lead to behavioral consequences in adulthood.

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"We know that the DCC gene may be modified by the experiences of adolescence. That gives us a hope that therapy, including social support, may alter the functioning of the DCC gene during this critical phase and, perhaps, reduce vulnerability to [mental health] diseases", lead researcher Cecilia Flores said.

Source: Medindia
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