VA MVP reveals Genetic risk factors through largest genome study of depression to date

“In the largest genetic analysis of depression to date, VA researchers identified many new gene variants that increase the risk for depression. The groundbreaking study helps researchers better understand the biological basis of depression and could lead to better drug treatments.”

“The study involved genetic data on more than 300,000 participants of VA’s Million Veteran Program (MVP), along with more than a million subjects from other biobanks, including 23andMe. With such a large participant pool, the researchers were able to spot trends in genetic risk of depression not previously known.”

“Co-primary investigator Dr. Joel Gelernter, a researcher with the VA Connecticut Healthcare System and Yale University School of Medicine, explained the significance of the findings. ‘This study uncovered more of the genetic architecture of depression than was previously known,’ he said. ‘This implicates new regions of the genome for more targeted investigation and allows us to use this information to identify drugs that are currently approved for other indications and might be repurposed for treatment of depression…'”

“Previous research has shown that genetics play a large role in depression risk. To gain more insight into exactly what genes are involved, VA researchers and colleagues assembled a large dataset to perform a genome-wide association study (GWAS). A GWAS compares the genomic codes of many people to see what gene variants people with a particular condition tend to have in common. This project was the first genomic study of depression to include more than a million participants…” Read the full article here.

Source: Genetic risk factors revealed by largest genome study of depression to date – By Tristan Horrom, May 27, 2021. VA.

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