The Associated Press reports that a key advance in the study of depression, is a comprehensive scan of human DNA. Findings have turned up that DnA is apparently a hiding places of more than a dozen genes linked to the disorder.
“This is a jumping-off point” for further work to reveal the biological underpinnings of depression, which in turn can guide development of new drugs, said Ashley Winslow, an author of a paper on the work.
Experts said the result is important not only for its specific findings, but also for its demonstration that the study’s approach can help uncover clues to the biology of depression, which is largely a mystery.
The work by Winslow and others identified 15 areas of the human DNA — the “genome” — that show signs of harboring genetic variations that affect risk of becoming depressed. That indicates where scientists can focus on identifying and studying the affected genes, which in turn could reveal what processes go awry to raise the risk of the disease.