Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Does Depression Result From Genetics?

 Article Link: https://fherehab.com/learning/factors-increase-genetic-predisposition-mental-health/ 

Additional Link: https://www.verywellmind.com/common-causes-of-depression-1066772 

Have you ever heard the phrase, “depression runs in the family?” The 2021 article posted on FHE Health states that Mental illness is a biopsychosocial disease that has a strong genetic component. Even though the exact set of causes have yet to be determined, if a parent, sibling or grandparent is diagnosed with a mental illness, the likelihood of developing the same or similar kind of mental illness does increase. Genetic disorders appear when abnormalities happen in the person’s genome. These genetic disorders are inherited when a defective gene from both parents is passed to their children and then affect the child’s DNA. 

A study posted in 2018 determined that genetic mental health disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, ADHD, bipolar disorder and depression are traceable to certain inherited gene variations. Functional magnetic resonance imaging scans showed that people with the genetic variation occurring in the serotonin transporter gene demonstrated hyperactivity in a brain area that processes anxiety and fear. This genetic variation is involved in brain cell signaling and communication. However, for depression the association to having this mental illness and its traces of heritability are still unclear. There’s ongoing research which supports the theory that the interaction between genetic and environmental factors increase a person’s chance of developing depression. 

It is very interesting to hear about the science of mental illness and how some mental disorders can be traced back to the individual's inherited genes. I am wondering what further research can be done to further understand the correlation between genetics and mental health. 

1 comment:

  1. This is a super interesting topic, especially with the uprise in normalization of mental health in the 21st century. Taking this genetics course hand and hand with psychology makes the debate of whether things like depression and anxiety are genetically inherited from our parents or if they are something we are exposed to environmentally and develop over time. Mental illnesses can also manifest over time and something in our environment can trigger that mental response. The brain is a super interesting thing and I hope we can figure out one day if this is really genetics or environmental.