Heading in the Data Direction for Major Depressive Disorder
Large-scale genome study of major depressive disorder reveals novel genetic risks
Liv Gaskill | | Quick Read
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is one of the most common neuropsychiatric disorders, affecting around 20 percent of the US population. Using data from the Million Veteran Program, 23andMe, UK Biobank, and FinnGen, researchers have conducted a large-scale meta-analysis of the genetic architecture of MDD (1).
They found that expression of NEGR1 in the hypothalamus and DRD2 in the nucleus accumbens were significantly associated with risk. Fine-mapping 178 risk loci also revealed overlapping expression for 17 genes, including TRAF3. The team validated the results against 1.3 million samples from 23andMe, which significantly replicated and confirmed their results.
“This study sheds light into the genetic architecture of depression and provides new insight into the interrelatedness of complex psychiatric traits,” says co-primary investigator Joel Gelernter (2). Their findings will enable identification of at-risk individuals and suggest suitable drugs for repurposing.
- DF Levey et al., Nat Neurosci, 24, 954 (2021). PMID: 34045744.
- Tristan Horrom (2021). Available at: https://bit.ly/3wKQbcz.