Rush conducts nationwide study to find genetic markers for depression

April 06, 2000

The National Institutes of Mental Health has launched the largest psychiatric genetic study ever attempted to investigate how recurrent depression is passed along through families. While depression is known to be genetically transmitted, discovery of the specific genetic sequence would offer new hope for more accurate diagnoses, better treatment, and the possibility for prevention of the disease. Studies have proven that the parents, siblings and children of a person with major depression, which began before age 30, are more likely to have it themselves.

Researchers at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, the only participating center in Chicago, are currently seeking 245 pairs of adult siblings with symptoms of unipolar major depressive disorder (major depression) to participate.

Major depression is a common and disabling illness affecting more than 17 million Americans each year. Symptoms of major depression may include a persistent sad mood, loss of interest or pleasure, decreased energy and fatigue, sleep problems, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, hopelessness or pessimism, feeling guilty or worthless, irritability and/or excessive crying. Those with the illness may experience episodes consisting of three or four of the above symptoms nearly every day for two weeks or more.

Rush is seeking individuals and siblings with symptoms of major depression for this research study. The depression must be recurrent and one sibling must have had an episode between the ages of 18 and 30, and the other sibling must have had an episode between the ages of 18 and 40. Qualified participants will be interviewed about their history and their family's history, and have a blood sample drawn. Phone interviews and local lab work can be arranged for out-of-town participants. Confidentiality is guaranteed for all those involved, even between family members. Data and blood obtained are identified only by identification number and not by name.

Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center is one of six medical centers nationwide participating in the study. Other sites include Columbia University, New York; Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore; University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh; University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; and University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.

To learn more about how you may qualify for this research study, please call 312-563-2843.
-end-
Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center includes the 809-bed Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital; 154-bed Johnston R. Bowman Health Center for the Elderly; Rush University (Rush Medical College, College of Nursing, College of Health Sciences and Graduate College); and seven Rush Institutes providing diagnosis, treatment and research into leading health problems. The medical center is the tertiary hub of the Rush System for Health, a comprehensive healthcare system capable of serving about three million people through its outpatient facilities and eight member hospitals.
-end-


Rush University Medical Center

Related Depression Articles from Brightsurf:

Children with social anxiety, maternal history of depression more likely to develop depression
Although researchers have known for decades that depression runs in families, new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York, suggests that children suffering from social anxiety may be at particular risk for depression in the future.

Depression and use of marijuana among US adults
This study examined the association of depression with cannabis use among US adults and the trends for this association from 2005 to 2016.

Maternal depression increases odds of depression in offspring, study shows
Depression in mothers during and after pregnancy increased the odds of depression in offspring during adolescence and adulthood by 70%.

Targeting depression: Researchers ID symptom-specific targets for treatment of depression
For the first time, physician-scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have identified two clusters of depressive symptoms that responded to two distinct neuroanatomical treatment targets in patients who underwent transcranial magnetic brain stimulation (TMS) for treatment of depression.

A biological mechanism for depression
Researchers report that in depressed individuals there are increased amounts of an unmodified structural protein, called tubulin, in lipid rafts compared with non-depressed individuals.

Depression in adults who are overweight or obese
In an analysis of primary care records of 519,513 UK adults who were overweight or obese between 2000-2016 and followed up until 2019, the incidence of new cases of depression was 92 per 10,000 people per year.

Why stress doesn't always cause depression
Rats susceptible to anhedonia, a core symptom of depression, possess more serotonin neurons after being exposed to chronic stress, but the effect can be reversed through amygdala activation, according to new research in JNeurosci.

Which comes first: Smartphone dependency or depression?
New research suggests a person's reliance on his or her smartphone predicts greater loneliness and depressive symptoms, as opposed to the other way around.

Depression breakthrough
Major depressive disorder -- referred to colloquially as the 'black dog' -- has been identified as a genetic cause for 20 distinct diseases, providing vital information to help detect and manage high rates of physical illnesses in people diagnosed with depression.

CPAP provides relief from depression
Researchers have found that continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can improve depression symptoms in patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

Read More: Depression News and Depression Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.