One in 10 people have a major depressive disorder (MDD) during their lives, which makes depression the most common mental illness.
Like many ailments, it is known that depression has both a genetic component and environmental factors.
The genetic component has been difficult to determine. However, researchers from Erasmus University Medical Centre in The Netherlands identified one gene implicated in MDD called NKPD1 [that may shed some light].
The researchers took advantage of a genetically homogeneous group of people called the Erasmus Rucphen Family (ERF) – a cohort of 3000 people who are all descendants of 22 couples from the 18th century…When given a self-reported questionnaire, 2,353 of them—a very high percentage—showed symptoms of depression.
Using the genetic sequences of the ERF, certain NKPD1 sequences were found to coincide with with people who also reported symptoms of depression. Further, the study also found an association between NKPD1 and people outside of the ERF, when they looked in the general population.
Although this discovery is exciting, it is a small step forward in the complex field of the genetics of depression. The authors wrote that they have “detected significant association of depressive symptoms with a gene NKPD1” and “we are the first to show a possible genetic connection in this respect.”
[Read the original source here]
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