Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Gene possibly linked to depression identified

Scientists in Scotland have identified a gene that they think could be part responsible for depression.

The discovery could help understanding of the causes of the mental health illness and could assist with the development of new treatments.

Despite significant improvements in our understanding of human genetics, there remains relatively little knowledge about the role genes play in the onset of depression.

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh used tissue samples and data gathered from 20,000 volunteers by the Generation Scotland project.

Using a technique tool called Regional Heritability Mapping or RHM, which can notice small contributions from rare genetic differences that together have a significant impact, the team identified a gene known as TOX2 as being connected to depression.

The results, published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, were double checked by running them through other large genetic banks.

An estimated 350 million people around the globe suffer from depression, making it among the most common mental health conditions.

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