– Genes and life events predict depression
A group of Spanish scientists has identified a specific combination of genetic and environmental factors that lead to the onset of depression.
A single variation in a gene controlling the transport of the neurotransmitter serotonin, combined with exposure to threatening life events, led to clinical depression in their patient sample.
Other variations of the gene, combined with the same life events, did not lead to depression.
Professors Jorge Cervilla Ballesteros, Blanca Gutiérrez Martínez and colleagues at the University of Granada said the most important consequence of their research is that scientists might soon be able to predict a persons response to antidepressants by taking into account the individuals genotype.
That might allow researchers to design drugs according to each persons genetic configuration and their exposure to environmental factors.
The research was recently published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.