New Discovery Offers Hope to those Fighting against Depression
One of the most common mental medical conditions of our era is depression. Almost every single one of us knows or has heard of someone suffering from depression, either mild or severe. Even though it is becoming more and more common, the fact that medical scientists know so little about it is both strange and disappointing. However, this may change really soon.
A combined team of experts from the University of Harvard and the Massachusetts General Hospital has managed to locate not one, not two, but fifteen new genetic variations all of which are potential candidates for the cause of depression.
The research contains data from hundreds of thousands of volunteers who gave their genetic information to 23andMe, a company that focuses on studying and mapping the human genome in the best way possible. A total of 307,200 people participated in the research, with a little more than one quarter of them suffering from major depressive disorder, commonly known as depression.
This whole procedure was close to impossible in the recent past due to our inability to process genetic data in such detail, and also because of the huge cost of any type of genetic research. However, as the years go by and science advances further, the various methods become easier and more affordable to use.
The importance of this breakthrough cannot be overstated since the extremely limited amount of information that scientists have gathered so far gave so few answers. In fact, a hint about the existence of such genetic variations was suggested in a study conducted 3 years ago, but there was no solid evidence to support it, so it remained a theory. But now, for the first time ever, we might be looking directly at the cause of depression.
This is huge for various reasons. First of all, understanding the cause of the condition allows us to focus on it and create specific drugs and treatments that are designed to fight it at full force. There is also the issue of variety since it is common knowledge that depression can be different from one person to another to such a degree that the same drugs are effective in one case and absolutely useless in another.
That is certain to change in the near future. We are definitely on the verge of an achievement so big that it will change the life of millions of people since both the patients and the people close to them are affected by such a serious condition as depression is.