Genetic examination may point to the risks of having depression

The depression , illness considered the evil of the century along with anxiety , affects people of all ages. Among the youngest, cases have increased alarmingly in the world population.

But contrary to what some may think, depression can be predicted, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry . The result indicates that long before the first signs, it is already possible to assess the patient’s predisposition.

According to the scientists, genetic alterations present in the DNA may offer an indication of the risks for the disease.

In addition, other risk factors are taken into account, such as some type of childhood trauma, such as sexual abuse, there is a greater chance of developing a depressive condition.

Read more: Social media increases depression symptoms in teenagers

How was it seen in the study?

The researchers used a method to observe the genetic risk of depression in the participants, but it is not so new, as it had already been used to genetically measure the risks of other diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes .

The researchers’ first step was to collect as much genetic material associated with depression from more than 460,000 adults already diagnosed with the disease, in order to have a kind of genetic pattern.

Then, they followed other participants, searching the DNA of these people without a diagnosis of depression for variations related to the disease.

As a result, it was possible to see that from data collected from adults it is possible to identify the genetic risks of children developing depression in the future.

Read more: Loneliness in old age can lead to depression

Which means that preventive measures, early treatments and new therapies can be developed from the results.

Research results like this are important to give rise to new treatments and preventive options for depression in children and adolescents.