-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- A DNA region linked to
depression has been identified by two different groups of
The studies by teams at Washington University School of Medicine
in St. Louis and King's College London in the United Kingdom
pinpointed a region on chromosome 3 that contains up to 90
The Washington University group analyzed data from 91 families
in Australia and 25 families in Finland, while the King's College
London researchers looked at more than 800 U.K. families affected
by recurrent depression.
"What's remarkable is that both groups found exactly the same region in two separate studies," Pamela A.F. Madden, a professor of psychology and senior investigator with the Washington University study, said in a university news release.
"We were working independently and not collaborating on any level, but as we looked for ways to replicate our findings, the group in London contacted us to say, 'We have the same linkage peak, and it's significant.'"
Both studies appear May 16 in the
American Journal of Psychiatry.
A number of previous studies have suggested that depression risk
is influenced by genetics. It's likely that many genes are involved
in depression, Madden said in a news release.
These new findings don't offer any immediate benefit for people
with depression, but are an important step in improving
understanding about what may be occurring at the genetic and
molecular levels in patients with depression, Madden said.
Major depression affects about 20 percent of people at some
point in their lives.
The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about
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