Posted on May 02, 2018, 3 p.m.
Researchers conducted meta-analysis of more than 135,000 patients diagnosed with major depression and more then 344,000 controls have identified 44 genomic loci variants which have statistical significance associated with depression.
Of the identified loci 30 are new while 14 have been previously identified in previous studies. 153 genes of significance were also identified, and it was found that major depression shared 6 loci which are associated with schizophrenia, as published in Nature Genetics.
The collaborative findings were the result of a global effort consisting of over 200 scientists from 161 institutions around the globe who work with the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. The study is a game changer in figuring out genetic basis of major depression, providing basis of this impairing human malady, which should lead to the development of new tools important for treatment and prevention.
This study shows that we all carry genetic variants for depression, individuals with higher burden are more susceptible, with life experiences that contribute to the risk, opening paths to new research in to biological drivers, confirming genetic roots offering biological clues leading to better and new treatments.
Major depression is one of the world’s most serious health issues, despite decades of effort. Up until now there have only been vague insights into biological mechanisms, leaving patients with limited options. Collaborative findings of this study represents a landmark towards elucidating biological underpinnings of depression.
The collaborative results can be used for improving other therapies, known targets of antidepressant medications were enriched with genetic findings. Major depression genetic basis overlaps with other psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder; and overlaps with that of obesity and multiple measures of sleep quality including insomnia, tiredness, and daytime sleepiness.
Materials provided by:
Note: Content may be edited for style and length.