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Genetic Factors Of Depression

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Genetic Factors of Depression

Lots of people are prone to depression due to their biological makeup, which puts them at a higher risk to such a condition. Aside from the genetic factors of depression, there are 2 other biological factors that trigger the condition including biochemical factors and sleep abnormalities.


Genetic Factors

A study on twins was conducted and showed that genetic factors play a huge role in the development of certain depressive disorders.  Various studies were performed and it has shown that identical twins have shared mood disorders of up to 45% - 60%. This simply means that if one of the twins is suffering from depression or any type of mood disorder, there is a 45% - 65% chance that the other twin will suffer from the same condition compared to fraternal twins which only have a 12% chance.

Depression or any other mood disorders are inheritable in some people. This means that individuals who are genetically prone to mood disorders can have it at an early age and they are at risk of suffering from other disorders aside from depression and are prone to recurrent illnesses. However, these genetic factors must have an interaction with environmental factors in order to develop.


Biochemical Factors

The brain is a highly complex organ that contains billions of neurons. Evidence has shown that depression can be a chemical or biological disorder and the probable cause of depression is due to an abnormality in the neurotransmitter of the central nervous system. This abnormality may be due to a genetic factor, environmental factor or it can also be due to a medical condition like hypothyroidism, cerebral infarction, substance abuse and AIDS.


There are specific neurotransmitters in the brain that have be known to cause mood altered states. It has said that two of the main neurotransmitters involved are norepinephrine and serotonin. However, based on a newly conducted research, it's said that depression can also be due to the deregulation of some neurotransmitters in the system. Acetylcholine, GABA systems and dopamine were said to be involved in depression as well.


Sleep Abnormalities

Sleep electroencephalogram abnormalities were seen in 90% of inpatients and 40% - 60% outpatients who are suffering from depression. Individuals who are prone to depression usually have mature sleep loss, REM  (rapid eye movement) and slow delta waves while asleep. The REM phase is often associated with dreams that usually occur in individuals with major depressive illnesses.

In Closing

There are lots of other factors that can cause depression, as mentioned, aside from the genetic factors of depression; most factors are biochemical in nature. For biologically induced depression, this can be treated with prescription drugs. As for depression cases due to human emotions, the treatment depends on what triggers the condition and this should be the focus of treatment.


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