Study Reveals The Genetic Link Between Depression And Alzheimer’s Disease

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The Genetic Link Between Depression and Alzheimer's Disease

A new study provides insight into the shared genetic factors of both depression and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

The researchers at Elsevier, a research group, performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to examine this genetic link. They identified the brain proteins and transcripts—the messages that encode proteins—associated separately for both disorders. Then, they studied the ‘causal link’ between depression and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

The findings, published in Biological Psychiatry, reveals that both depression and Alzheimer’s disease have common genetic roots. Out of the 28 brain proteins and 75 transcripts associated with depression, 7 brain proteins and 46 transcripts are also associated with AD.

The data also points to the increased risk of AD in people who suffer from depression. Because of the shared genetic basis, the worse a person experiences depression, the faster his/her memory is likely to decline.

One of the lead researchers, Dr. A. Wingo added, “This relationship raises the question of whether treatment of depression can mitigate the risk for dementia.”

The study, of course, doesn’t suggest that a minor episode of depression can lead to dementia. It just warns about the long-term consequences of untreated and ineffectively treated depression and looks at ways in which it can be prevented from growing into more serious neurodegenerative disorders like AD.

To Know More You May Refer To

Nadia V. Harerimana, Yue Liu, Ekaterina S. Gerasimov, Duc Duong, Thomas G. Beach, Eric M. Reiman, Julie A. Schneider, Patricia Boyle, Adriana Lori, David A. Bennett, James J. Lah, Allan I. Levey, Nicholas T. Seyfried, Thomas S. Wingo, Aliza P. Wingo, Genetic Evidence Supporting a Causal Role of Depression in Alzheimer’s Disease, Biological Psychiatry,2021, ISSN 0006-3223,

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