Study: Meta-analysis of crowd-sourced and existing data determine depression-related genome sites

Study: Meta-analysis of crowd-sourced and existing data determine depression-related genome sites

The notion that the blueprint of depression is etched deep within the genes has been backed by various scientific evidences. Despite the above fact, it was only recently that the scientists were able to identify the genome associated with depression amidst individuals, particularly those with the European lineage.

Since depression like any other disease is caused by multiple factors, the role of genetics remained neglected for long despite the fact that mental disorders often run in families. Despite earlier conventional genome-wide studies, scientists failed to determine the accurate information and pertaining to the genome sites responsible for triggering depression.

The available studies on genes linked to depression do not have commensurable data to analyze the genetic risk factors for depression. In order to determine the exact information, a new study using large samples and crowd-sourced data discovered 17 genetic variants at 15 genome sites that are associated different forms of depression, such as major depressive disorder (MDD). The above findings discussed in detail below will assist in developing better treatments and understanding the fact that depression is a brain disease with its own biology.

Gene sites associated with depression

The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and published in the journal Nature Genetics, was performed by the American pharmaceutical company called Pfizer. The genome sites that were identified play a key role in gene expression and the production of neurons in the developing brain. The researchers studied the existing data on the genetic profiles bought by individuals from one of the companies offering online genetic testing and analysis service.

The researchers used self-reported data from 75,607 individuals diagnosed with depression and another 231,747 individuals with no prior diagnosis of depression presented by the above company. This was followed by a meta-analysis of the findings of the above study and those of the already published studies on the genome linked with MDD. The researchers also included a replication data set from the company, which entailed 45,773 cases of depression along with 106,354 in the control group.

The results of the study were combined with the findings of the previous genome-wide-association study known as Psychiatric Genomic Consortium, which is based on over 20,000 clinician-reported diagnosis of depression amidst individuals of the European descent. In addition, genetic sites that were identified were followed up by a separate analysis expressed through a replication set to further ascertain the claim of the study.

Gene sites: A hot spot for various overlapping mental disorders

The findings of the study, which entailed 17 genetic variations at 15 genome sites linked to depression, also found the evidence that these genome sites were also associated with the development of other mental health conditions. The study also contributed to large-scale consumer genetic data gathering, compiling and methodology of computing data acquired by the conventional means for mapping the genomics of neuropsychiatric diseases.

Despite the identification of genome sites associated with depression, researchers believe that it only accounts for some of the genetic risk factors for the development of depression and that crowd-sourced data could also accompany the traditional methods of studying genetic information.

A study of this magnitude could only be made possible due to its sheer sample size. Individuals who had submitted their genetic profiles through an online service had the option to participate in the research that identified genetic traits associated with not only depression but also other underlying mental illnesses.

Make the right choice to win battle against depression

Depression is a common mental disorder that triggers life-disruptive symptoms that severely affect daily life, ranging from feelings, thoughts, handling daily activities to sleeping. When a person persistently witnesses some of the symptoms of depression, such as sadness, pessimism, irritability, difficulty in concentration, difficulty in sleeping, etc., he or she should seek treatment without any further delay.

If you or your loved one is suffering from the symptoms of depression, contact the Texas Depression Treatment Help to access the best depression treatment in Texas that specializes in delivering evidence-based intervention plans. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-827-0282 or chat online with our medical representatives to know more about the depression treatment centers in Texas.