Following is a Health Talk news blog I just received today.
News - Inflammation, Depression Genetically Linked
Wednesday, Jun 4, 2008
By Jen Schripsema, HealthTalk
Depression is a common condition, and itâ??s particularly common among people with certain inflammatory disorders, including asthma and psoriasis. That link may be due in part to variations in two genes that predispose people to both types of conditions, according to a study published May 27, 2008 in Molecular Psychiatry.
Researchers analyzed genetic data from 284 Mexican-Americans in Los Angeles who had major depression and were already involved in a study of treatment response to anti-depressants. They compared that population to 331 people without depression from the same community.
They found variations in two inflammation-related genes that predisposed people to developing major depression. The genes may also be relevant to asthma and psoriasis, conditions known to co-occur with depression and to be related to stress. These genes are critical to proper function of T cells in the immune system.
Researchers also identified several other genetic variations that increased the response to anti-depressant drugs, most of which were involved in T-cell function. This study supports the emerging theory that T-cell dysfunction is a component of depression.
Eventually, a blood test may allow doctors to identify people who are genetically predisposed to depression so they can be carefully monitored during stressful situations and treated early if depression symptoms emerge.