It is estimated that about 280 million people suffer from depression in the world.
Depression is incredibly complex, highly subjective, and often linked to a reservoir of stimuli and other comorbidities.
But in 2021, the results of a study of 1.2 million people revealed that there are 178 types of genetic variants associated with major depressive disorder, and the study confirmed that each person’s DNA plays a major role in mental illness.
Researchers from Canada’s McGill University have been able to prove that there are more models of gender-based diagnosis and treatment, after finding clearly different genetic links to depression between male and female genomes.
In a study of more than 270,11 individuals taken from the UK Biobank database, scientists discovered that sex-specific prediction methods were far more accurate in assessing the risk of major depressive disorder than looking at both sexes, after it was found that there were <> regions of DNA specifically associated with female depression, and only one in male genomes.
Metabolism and biological clock
The researchers also found that depression is closely linked to metabolic diseases in females, and although this finding has been confirmed in previous research, it has not been linked to females and males separately.
Interestingly, the study found that both males and females share problems with BMAL1, a regulator of circadian rhythms. Insomnia has been an important symptom shared by both sexes when it comes to major depressive disorder.
“This is the first study to describe gender-specific genetic variants associated with depression, a disease that is very prevalent in both males and females,” said Dr Patricia Belovo Silveira, principal investigator and assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University.
Among its complications is the fact that depression varies greatly in its severity, symptoms, and seizure patterns, and it is estimated that about 280 million worldwide suffer from it, and it is largely responsible for nearly 700000,<> suicide deaths each year.
The researchers hope this finding will lead to the development of personalized treatment options that can focus on gender-specific gene networks and also encourage more scientists to look at the genetic signals of depression across ethnically diverse populations.