For years, researchers have supposedly found that a certain group of genes play a key role in depression. This has not only lead to a lot of further research, but also given doctors and patients the hope that technology like CRISPR could simply cut these genes out for future offspring. These previous ideas of depression genes come with hypotheses about the future of the disease itself.
Several of the prior studies, at least 10, saw that a certain 18 genes were completely associated with depression. Unfortunately, new testing has proven that of the 18 specific genes that scientists have associated with depression, none of them play any larger role than every other random gene in the body. Though depression is indeed a heritable condition, it “is influenced by many many variants, and individually each of those has a minuscule effect."
Looking closer at some studies, a particular gene SLC6A4 which directly deals with the transportation of serotonin was previously said to be very important with depression. Specifically, it was believed that a person with a short version of this gene was at a higher risk for developing depression than a person with a “normal” size SLC6A4. This is even more likely if the person was exposed to early life trauma.
Another study was done with the participation of several DNA/chromosomal data sources such as 23andMe. They used the data from those types of websites in order to determine if any of the so called “associated genes” actually played a role in producing depression when combined with childhood trauma. This is said to be the largest depression study known to man. The researchers were actually surprised to find that those 18 genes are no more related to depression than any other gene. However, it is still believed that as a group, many genes participate in the development of depression. It is important to note that “genes associated with the disease, and what they do, can ultimately come up with more accurate "polygenic scores" to predict risk and still potentially develop drugs designed to counteract that risk.”
I think that this study is really interesting because it involves scientists disproving past hypotheses about this specific disease. More genes must be looked at to determine even the smallest roles in depression, yet I don’t think this disease will ever be completely abolished. Too many genes are involved to pinpoint a certain gene removal or drug that will get rid of all symptoms. This research is a big step in furthering the scientific knowledge of depression