A scientific research team led by Edinburgh University scanned the genetic code of 300,000 people and may have found a link between a person’s DNA and depression.
“Our findings suggest that broad depression is the most tractable UK Biobank phenotype for discovering genes and gene sets that further our understanding of the biological pathways underlying depression.” Nature Communications
This could explain why some people are more prone to depression than others. The condition affects 1 in 5 people in the UK.
Professor Andrew McIntosh from the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh said:
“Depression is a common and often severe condition that affects millions of people worldwide. 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. We hope that the UK’s growing health data research capacity will help us to make major advances in our understanding of depression in coming years.”
The UK Biobank consists of data from 501,726 individuals from 23 centres across the UK. The registered volunteers with the UK Biobank provide information on their health which is used in confidence by researchers.
The Edinburgh University based research was funded by Wellcome as part of a £4.7 million project to better understand Depression.
Dr David Howard, from the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh said:
“This study identifies genes that potentially increase our risk of depression, adding to the evidence that it is partly a genetic disorder. 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.”