London: Nearly 80 genes that could be linked to depression have been identified, a finding that adds to the evidence that it is partly a genetic disorder, say scientists.
Depression, a common mental disorder, is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide.
According to the latest estimates from the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 300 million people are now living with depression, an increase of more than 18 per cent between 2005 and 2015.
“This study identifies genes that potentially increase our risk of depression, adding to the evidence that it is partly a genetic disorder,” said lead author David Howard, research fellow at the University of Edinburgh.
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 electrical and chemical signals, the researchers said.
The study could help explain why some people may be at a higher risk of developing the…