About Careers Internship MedBlog Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Link Between Genes and Depression

by Sheela Philomena on February 8, 2011 at 11:47 AM
Font : A-A+

 Link Between Genes and Depression

People who are genetically predisposed to produce lower levels of a brain chemical are at higher risk of severe depression, says study. Researchers have found an association between the genes and depression.

The brain chemical regulates appetite and stress in individuals.

Advertisement

The findings should shed more light on how depression affects certain people more than others, and could help lead the way toward developing more individualized therapies, researchers at the University of Michigan said.

"We've identified a biomarker -- in this case genetic variation -- that is linked with increased risk of major depression," said senior study author Jon-Kar Zubieta, a professor of psychiatry and radiology.
Advertisement

"This appears to be another mechanism, independent of previous targets in depression research, such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine."

People who produce lower amounts of the brain molecule neuropeptide Y (NPY) had "measurably stronger brain responses to negative stimuli and psychological responses to physical pain," the study said.

"They were also overrepresented in a population diagnosed with a major depressive disorder."

The study, which appears in the Archives of General Psychiatry, used three different methods. First, researchers classified subject participants into three categories according to low, medium or high NPY expression.

Then, they used MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to look at brain activity as the subjects viewed different words -- some neutral (like "material"), some negative (like "murderer") and some positive (like "hopeful").

"In response to negative words, subjects in the low NPY group showed strong activation in the prefrontal cortex, which is involved with processing emotion, while subjects with high NPY demonstrated a much smaller response," the study said.

In the second trial, researchers looked at how subjects described their emotional state before and after a stress challenge in which saline solution was injected into their jaw muscles, causing moderate pain for about 20 minutes.

"Those in the low NPY group were more negative both before and after the pain -- meaning they were more emotionally affected while anticipating the pain and while reflecting on their experience immediately afterward," it said.

Finally, researchers examined the NPY genotypes of people with major depressive disorders and found that, compared to a control group, people with low NPY were "overrepresented" in the group with depression.

"These are genetic features that can be measured in any person," said lead author Brian Mickey, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School.

"We hope they can guide us toward assessing an individual's risk for developing depression and anxiety."

Source: AFP
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
Alarming Cesarean Section Trends in India - Convenience or Compulsion of Corporate Healthcare
Quiz on Low-Calorie Diet for Diabetes
World Heart Day in 2022- Use Heart for Every Heart
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Adolescence Depression Depression Stress Relief Through Alternative Medicine Andropause / Male Menopause Pregnancy and Complications Holistic Management for Depression Tourette Syndrome Dealing with Menopause symptoms through lifestyle changes Tired All The Time Placebo Effects: Rare Insights 

Most Popular on Medindia

Sanatogen Selfie Addiction Calculator How to Reduce School Bag Weight - Simple Tips Accident and Trauma Care Iron Intake Calculator Noscaphene (Noscapine) Find a Doctor Vent Forte (Theophylline) Diaphragmatic Hernia Blood Pressure Calculator
This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
×

Link Between Genes and Depression Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests