How much are depression and anxiety caused by our genetics?

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Offline thedoc

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A genetic tendency to overactivity in certain brain regions
has been shown to cause anxiety and depression in
up to half of young people.

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« Last Edit: 10/07/2015 18:10:15 by _system »



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« Reply #1 on: 25/07/2015 13:42:37 »
A problem I saw in the news coverage was attributing the “35 percent of variation in anxiety-like tendencies is explained by family history” finding to genetics. The researchers produced this finding by running numbers on family trees, not by studying genetic samples to assess the contributions of genetic and epigenetic factors. The study’s “family history” correlation was different than an inherited genetic causation.

The 592 macaques were the human-equivalent ages of 3 to 12 years old. Primate brainstems and limbic systems are fully developed before these ages.

The researchers thus missed defining the important contributions of epigenetic factors during womb-life, infancy, and early childhood. For example, other studies show that a developing fetus adapts to being constantly stressed by an anxious mother.

When these adaptations persist after birth, they may present as physiological and behavioral maladaptations of the infant and young child to a non-stressful environment. These enduring changes may be among the causes of symptoms in later life, such as the anxious overreactions this study found.