Major Psychiatric Disorders Differ Significantly Between Sexes, Genetic Study Claims

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Mental Health News: The largest genomic study to date found major psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia differ between men and women due to interactions of specific genes with sex.

Researchers found that women are more vulnerable to major depressive disorders than men, whereas men are more prone to schizophrenia than women. There are many other psychiatric disorders that develop and affect men and women differently. They then conducted large-scale genome analysis to find why major psychiatric disorders differed markedly between the sexes.

More than 100 investigators and research groups worked together using large psychiatric databases, to carefully search genomes of 33,403 people with schizophrenia, 19,924 with bipolar disorder, and 32,408 with major depressive disorder. They also combed through genomes of 109,946 controls (people without any of these psychiatric disorders.

Results revealed substantial genetic overlap between the sexes. Researchers found significant sex-dependent differences in how genes related to immune and vascular functions and neuronal development, affect patients across three major psychiatric disorders: bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and major depressive disorder.

For instance, interactions with schizophrenia and depression and sex in genes controlling for the production of vascular endothelial growth factor, that boosts the growth of new blood vessels.

This research has important implications in decoding the impact of sex, genes, and pathophysiology to identify potential targets for sex-specific therapeutic interventions and design effective therapies for men and women.

To Know More, You May Refer To:

Massachusetts General Hospital. (2021, March 23). Large-scale genome analysis identifies differences by sex in major psychiatric disorders. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 8, 2021 from

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