A team of researchers from Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital, Pfizer Inc. and 23andMe Inc. have discovered 17 separate genetic variations that increase the risk of a person developing major depressive disorder (MDD). To increase their odds of detecting these weak genetic signals, the researchers adopted a strategy of studying much larger samples than what was used in the earlier studies. As a result, it was found that the first genetic links to the disease can be traced back to people of European ancestry. Dr Roy Perlis, co-author of the study hopes that the new findings will help people understand that depression is not just a mental problem but a brain disease with its own biology.
- New Discovery