What does one inherit: depression or temperament?

ARTICLE: 'Dimensions of temperament as vulnerability factors in depression'

AUTHORS: Yutaka Ono, Juko Ando, Naoko Onoda, Kimio Yoshimura, Tomoo Momose, Masami Hirano, Shigenobu Kanba

Health Center, Keio University, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Faculty of Letters, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Neuropsychiatry, School of Medicine, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan; Cancer Information and Epidemiology Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan; Komagino Hospital, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Psychiatry, Yamanashi Medical University, Yamanashi-ken, Japan

Based on data from a genetic analysis of dimensions of temperament and mild depression in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, researchers in Japan have found that depression is affected by additive genetic effects that affect dimensions of temperament; those act together with environmental experiences unique to the individual. The authors found presence of mild depression was not related directly to genetic influences. Interestingly, depression was more likely to occur in those predisposed to it by the presence of high score on harm avoidance or a high score on reward dependence (personality features from standardized scales). This means that what is inherited in depression is temperaments that predispose and lead to vulnerability to depression, the expression of which will ultimately be determined by environmental factors, and that it might be better to look for genetic markers for dimensions of temperament rather than for depression which is thought to be a heterogeneous syndrome.


Contact: Aimee Midei
Molecular Psychiatry

Page: 1

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