5-HTT gene can cause depression

New research suggests a variation on one gene can disrupt a mental circuit, making people more susceptible to &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/fun/2002/06/28/31363.html ' target=_blank>depression and anxiety.

The circuit controls the body's ability to silence a ringing alarm in the brain when a human feels fear, said study co-author Dr. Daniel R. Weinberger, director of the Genes, Cognition and Psychosis Program at the National Institute of Mental Health. Brain scans showed that people with less effective circuitry were more likely to have trouble dealing with the stresses of life, he added.

The findings won't immediately lead to new treatments for mental illness, Weinberger noted. In fact, antidepressants already target some related circuitry in the brain, reports the Health Day News.

According to WebProNews, the study, led by Dr. Daniel R. Weinberger, director of the Genes, Cognition and Psychosis Program, revealed that subjects with a shorter version of the 5-HTT gene, a gene responsible for serotonin transport, seem to have different brain circuitry and response to negative stimuli.

An inherited trait, people with longer versions of the &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/fun/2002/08/16/34730.html ' target=_blank>gene were found to be less susceptible to stressors, and this, though further testing is required, is a possible link to understanding how people cope with life.

Though environmental factors play a part as well, serotonin production that is too low is widely known to cause depression. Too much can cause mania.

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