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Researchers Find Gene Linked to Depression

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According to a new study, scientists appear to have identified a gene linked to depression. This new finding, in turn, may offer insight into various new and otherwise unknown forms of therapy for treating and possibly even curing the extremely common mental disorder.

In order to come to their findings, researchers analyzed patients that had been diagnosed with depression across the genome, and match them to specific control subjects with no history of the illness. By doing this, they were able to compare and contrast the traits and genes that the two distinctly different groups had.

Ultimately, they found SLC6A15, a gene that codes neuronal amino acid transporter protein, and noted that it very closely resembled the appearance of major depression. Further, they were able to confirm this by cross-examining it among more than 15,000 individuals.

"Current treatments for major depression are indispensible but their clinical efficacy is still unsatisfactory, as reflected by high rates of treatment resistance and side effects," said the author of the study, Dr. Martin A. Kohli of the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, Germany. "Identification of mechanisms causing depression is pertinent for discovery of better antidepressants‚ÄĚ

Above all else, this study presents a good first step and building block to further research involving root causes of depression. This, in turn, will eventually lead to the discovery of a more reliable treatment option for the common mental disorder.

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