Experts have revealed that they had found fifteen places in the human DNA that are associated with a risk of depression. This commonly occurring health conditions costs billions in health care and diminished productivity.
Studies performed on gene associations which link DNA inherited from the parents to certain diseases or habits are published every week. This test is especially important. It is the premiere large study on major depressive disorder in people of European descent. It shows that the genes responsible for the condition correlate to those which play a role in the development of neurons in the brain.
Genes responsible for schizophrenia or bipolar disease overlap with depression genes to some extent. This conclusion is similar to another finding in an important study published in April, which focused on genetic factors. The April study also found that there are moderate similarities between depression and schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
This leads to the conclusion that scientists are going to study these genes and psychical traits together, in future work.
The novel study published in Nature Genetics looked at the genetic makeup of a sample of 75,607 people of European heritage with depression and 231,747 healthy Europeans.
The findings will not lead to the development of new treatments, anytime soon. This is because scientists have yet to find a way to transfer the knowledge they got from research into ways of helping people. Further more, many experts believe that surrounding environments play just as important a role as genetics in triggering depression. So gene therapy alone would not work. Especially since depression is linked to a lot of genes, not just one or two.
The company which made all this possible is called 23andMe. It was once a small Silicon Valley genetic data company, which grew into a multi-million dollar player in the field of genetics.
Users sent their saliva to the company and received a personalized genetic profile in return. The company asked for permission from some of its clients to take part in the large study mentioned above.
For a long period of time, many research groups have been trying to put together a large database of DNA material and information but had a hard time succeeding.
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