Russian scientists have identified one of the genes that causes depression, but the search is not over yet, as there are others to discover, revealed the Institute of Cytology and Genetics of Siberia.
According to one of the researchers, “Until now no single gene that has been a catalyst for depression has been found”, biologist Tatiana Axenovitch, a professor at the Institute of Cytology and Genetics in Novosibirsk, Siberia, told EFE.
The search for the genes of depression has been done with computers and mathematical models of genetic analysis, using statistical data compiled by the Erasmus Center in Rotterdam, which is dedicated to studying the disease, and can help to create more effective medicines. Tatiana Axenovitch also added that “it was very difficult to locate the gene, because there is not only one, no one knows exactly how many, but there may be dozens”.
Having been a gene identified, new drugs could be created against a disease that has become a public health problem and depends on 40% of genetic factors and 60% of environmental factors, “For example, with the help of the gene can be – to investigate more deeply the mechanism that causes depressive symptoms to appear”, she said.
“The circumstances of life and the stress to which they are subjected are decisive factors”, the researcher said. She also stressed that the difficulty of making a diagnosis, since the disease manifests itself with different severity, intensity, duration and frequency.
According to the World Health Organization, one of the main obstacles to curing depression is misdiagnosis, as there are people who suffer from the disease and are never treated, while, on the other hand, they prescribe antidepressants too lightly. The organization’s figures point to 350 million people affected by depression, the leading cause of disability in the world. It affects more women than men and it is estimated that between 08 and 15% of people suffer from depression during their lifetime.