Researchers Discover New Gene Linked To Depression

As of 2006, nearly 8.2 percent of the adult population in the U.S. suffers from a form of depression, according to the Center for Disease Control. This includes bipolar and major depressive disorder. Mental illness can make individuals more prone to drug and alcohol abuse. Rehabilitation facilities can provide the resources that affected individuals need to manage their illness and substance abuse.

On Oct. 17, the Nature Medicine journal reported that Yale University researchers announced they discovered a gene that appears to contribute to depression. To make their discovery, the scientists studied the brain tissue of more than a dozen cadavers.

“This could be a primary cause, or at least a major contributing factor, to the signaling abnormalities that lead to depression,” said Ronald Duman, the senior author of the study, quoted by Nature Medicine.

Mice who were given the gene during the study also exhibited symptoms of depression. Researchers hope that this new information can help develop more effective antidepressants in the future.

When left untreated, mental illness may result in mood swings, suicidal thoughts and substance abuse. Rehabilitation facilities offer treatment for individuals suffering from these conditions or from addiction.