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‘Depression Gene’ Linked to Response to Stress

Study Shows Gene Plays Role in the Ways People React to Stressful Events

Gene Testing Not Advised continued...

George Tesar, MD, a psychiatrist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, says this genetic variation “is not a cause of depression, but a factor that increases risk of depression in certain individuals.”

It is not a given that if you have this gene, you will develop depression when you experience a stressful situation, he says.

“This article resurrects [the depression gene,] in a fashion, but it never died,” Tesar says. “People still stand by this as a variable.”

When this gene was first discovered in 2003, people in the field wanted it to be the variable to help guide clinical decision making.

It is not the variable, but a variable, Tesar says.

Rudolf Uher, PhD, a clinical lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, says in a news release that the new study “gives a very clear answer: the 'short' variant of the serotonin transporter does make people more sensitive to the effects of adversity."


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