Monday, January 30, 2006

Is Depression Genetic?

Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University have found that genes contribute more strongly in women than in men for the risk of depression. They’ve also discovered that there may be some genetic factors that operate uniquely in one sex and not in the other. In the January issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, researchers reported that habitability of depression is approximately 42 percent in women and 29 percent in men.
Their work, together with colleagues at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden is the largest epidemiological study of depression done to date in twins. They have shown that depression is a moderately heritable disorder suggesting genetic factors are important. The research teams evaluated lifetime major depression of approximately 42,000 twins. According to research, there are two kinds of sex-effects, which are quantitative and qualitative. They say that quantitative examines whether habitability is different in males than females, and if the importance of genetic factors differs among the sexes. Qualitative sex-effects examine whether the same genes are playing a role in males and females.

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