Genetic predisposition testing for depression is a field of research which is indeed growing and will, when fully developed, provide much relief to people afflicted and who will be afflicted by this condition. Depression will be the most common illness in the decades to come and thus, understanding this illness is expedient.
Genetic predisposition testing has been around for ages. Nowadays, you can find many companies offering genetic health tests. By means of a small blood sample taken through a prick of the finger, you can know which of a whole range of genetic / hereditary illnesses you are predisposed to and the likelihood that you will develop this illness at some point in your life.
Depression and your Genes
It has been known for a long time as the trait and pattern can be quite obvious: depression runs in families. Children, who have a parent or a sibling suffering from clinical depression, stand a higher chance of developing the illness. The chances of developing the condition in cases where a person has a close relative suffering from this illness increase by 3 times. In There are of course, environmental factors which play a role in developing depression. However, a person genetically predisposed to depression is more likely to be affected by these environmental factors and develop the illness than someone who does not have the genetic predisposition.
Genetic Testing and Twin Studies
Identical twin DNA testing and twin studies are of huge importance for research in so many different aspects of genetic research. Since identical twins (monozygotic twins) share the same genetic profile, it would stand to reason that if an illness is due to the genetic makeup then both twins should develop it. In the case of twins, studies showed that in the vast majority of cases, one twin would develop depression and the other twin would not. The conclusion would suggest that yes, there is a genetic component to depression but also that the environment plays a role.
Depression and the Depressive Gene
Earlier research had actually come up with a breakthrough and found the gene which they thought was responsible for depression: the serotonin gene. However, this was later disproved and no link was found between this gene and depression.
The conclusion is that there are genes which are linked to the development of mood disorders. Chances are that there is no single gene responsible for this, but rather a number of small genes. A genetic predisposition test for depression is still quite distant for the time being.
A generalised genetic health test
homeDNAdirect offers a generalised genetic health test to establish your genetic predisposition to 34 diseases. Read more about our genetic health test.