New Light Shed on Genetics & Depression

From Science Daily-

But in this new study, the Washington University researchers looked again at data from the many studies that delved into the issue since the original publication in 2003, analyzing information from more than 40,000 people, and found that the previously reported connection between the serotonin gene, depression and stress wasn’t evident. The new results are published April 4 in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.
“But when all of the groups came together and looked at the data the same way, we came to a consensus. We still know that stress is related to depression, and we know that genetics is related to depression, but we now know that this particular gene is not.”

This doesn’t mean that there isn’t a genetic cause to depression, it only calls how we currently think about it into question.  A genetic cause is highly likely given the influence of family history on one’s chances of having depression.  Regardless of whether there is a genetic connection or not, we know there are clear differences in how the brain operates when a person is affected by Depression.

The desire to confirm or rule out a genetic link is an important step in the treatment of depression.  We should be aware that even if it turns out that a genetic cause cannot be found, it doesn’t make depression less of an illness.  If you believe that, then all those folks who died from Bubonic Plague were faking it, I guess.

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