An international research project led by scientists from the U. of Granada has demonstrated that the risk of suffering from depression due to abuse during childhood is significantly higher in those patients who are genetically predisposed.
This research has been published in the prestigious Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, and it has been coordinated by Prof.Blanca Gutiérrez, from the Psychiatry Department at the U. of Granada. Participants include researchers from the CIBERSAM group (UGR Centre for Biomedical Research), the Biostatistics Department at the U. of Granada, King’s College in London, Loyola University in Andalusia, the University of Seville, the University of Zaragoza, the Health Service of La Rioja, the Health Service of the Canary Islands, and the San Cecilio Clinical University Hospital in Granada.
Scientists analysed a sample which consisted of 2.679 primary health care patients from 41 different health clinics in seven different Spanish provinces, between the ages of 18 and 75. They were all followed during a period of three years, and the survey included genetic tests.
The results demonstrated that those individuals who have scarcely functional genes implied in neurotrophism (BDNF) and in serotonin transmission are particularly vulnerable to the noxious effects that childhood abuse (either psychological, physical or sexual) has upon general mood and as a risk factor in clinical depression.
According to prof. Gutiérrez “it is an important result, which proves a triple genetic-environmental sort of interaction whose relevance is even more important if we take into consideration that the response to antidepressants appears to be fundamentally mediated through proteins codified by the two genes we have studied.”
“Our results present a fundamental genetic-environmental model to explain this sort of therapeutic response”, concludes this researcher from the U. of Granada.
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