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'Genes that may trigger depression discovered'

Press Trust of India  |  London 

Scientists have discovered nearly 80 genes that could be linked to depression, an advance that may help explain why some people are at a higher risk of developing the condition.

The study led by researchers at the in the UK could also help develop drugs to tackle mental ill-health.

is the leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the research published in the journal Nature Communications.

Life events - such as trauma or stress - can contribute to its onset, but it is not clear why some people are more likely to develop the condition than others.

Scientists analysed data from - a research resource containing health and genetic information for half a million people.

They scanned the of 300,000 people to identify areas of DNA that could be linked to

Some of the pinpointed genes are known to be involved in the function of synapses, tiny connectors that allow brain cells to communicate with each other through

The scientists then confirmed their findings by examining anonymised data held by the personal genetics and research company 23andMe, used with the donors' consent.

"is a common and often severe condition that affects millions of people worldwide," said Andrew McIntosh, a at the

"These new findings help us better understand the causes of depression and show how the study and big data research has helped advance mental health research," said McIntosh.

"This study identifies genes that potentially increase our risk of depression, adding to the evidence that it is partly a genetic disorder," said David Howard, Research Fellow at the

"The findings also provide new clues to the causes of depression and we hope it will narrow down the search for therapies that could help people living with the condition," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, April 16 2018. 16:05 IST