Wednesday, February 09, 2011

New gene linked to depression

Everyone experiences some stress in their day-to-day lives but some people calm down after it more quickly than others. A chemical in the brain called neuropeptide Y (NPY) is thought to play a role in this and some variations in people's genes can cause them to produce lower levels of this chemical. Researchers from the University of Michigan Medical School studied 181 people. They analyzed their genes to see how effective they were at producing NPY and studied how they reacted to negative stimuli and whether they suffered from depression. The study found that people whose genes led them to produce low levels of NPY were more responsive to negative stimuli, less resilient to stress and more likely to develop major depression.

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