Are people predisposed to depression? For almost a decade, scientists have speculated about the existence of gene that may predispose a person to depression. Now, research from the University of Michigan may confirm that the gene is linked to the disease.
Scientists from the university analyzed 54 health studies that included almost 41,00 participants to find a connection between the serotonin gene and depression. They found that individuals who had a short allele on an area of that gene had a more difficult time recovering from trauma than those with long alleles, indicating that a person’s genetic makeup can affect how he or she responds to stress.
“This brings us one step closer to being able to identify individuals who might benefit from early interventions or to tailor treatments to specific individuals,” said Srijan Sen, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan, in an interview with Science Daily.
The web site said the discovery challenges a 2009 study that questioned the genetic link and said previous research on the subject “had not held up to scientific scrutiny.”
People who are predisposed to depression may also have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, according to CNN Health, both potentially fatal illnesses that can increase the cost of life insurance.