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Researchers find over 100 genes linked to depression

Researchers find over 100 genes linked to depression

Following little advancements in 50 years for treatments of depression, hundreds of genes have been newly linked to depression to help millions of people worldwide.

Scientists led by the University of Edinburgh studied information pooled from UK Biobank, 23andMe and the Psychiatry Genomics Consortium to involve more than two million people, is the largest of its kind. It could inform treatments for depression, which affects one in five people in the UK and is the leading cause of disability worldwide.

The findings suggest that depression could be a driving factor leading some people to smoke, whilst neuroticism could lead people to become depressed, which could shed light on personality factors that put people at risk.

"These findings are further evidence that depression is partly down to our genetics. We hope that by launching the GLAD study, we will be able to find out more about why some people are more at risk than others of mental health conditions, and how we might help people living with depression and anxiety more effectively in future."

Professor Andrew McIntosh, of the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, and the lead researcher.

The further research — known as The Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression (GLAD) Study — aims to better understand depression and anxiety in order to improve the lives of people with mental health issues.

"This large study is an important advance in understanding how genetic variability might contribute to risk for depression. Given that current treatments work for only half of those who need them, the study provides some intriguing clues for future research to follow up."

Raliza Stoyanova, Wellcome’s Senior Portfolio Developer for neuroscience and mental health