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Lilu

I don't know if this is old news to you guys, but I found this explanation for depression quite convicing.
 
Here's a lecture given by Professor Sapolsky, at Stamford University, on the evidence of genetic predisposition to depression.  He's very clear and easy to understand.
 
Last 5 min of Lecture by famed professor at Stanford University, Robert Sapolsky on Depression and Genetics. Scientists have identified the Gene responsible for depression by studying thousands of children for 20 years.
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3YP5HJU-q4
 
I love how he talks and how he explains things. Professor Sapolsky states:
 
"There's nothing out there like Depression. Depression is absolutely crippling. Depression is incredibly pervasive.... Basically depression is like the worst disease you can get....It is devasting. It is wildly common....15% of us will get it at some point in our lifetimes. Currently, World Health Organization says that depression is the 4th leading cause of disability around the world."
 
The theory states that people with this particular mutation in the brain, respond much more severely to stress than people without the mutation.  And that with each occurrence of a stressful even the likelihood of depression grows significantly.  People with the mutation (something about a short alele) are about 33% more likely to develop depression.  In other words, the combination of the genetic mutation AND stress, is what trigger the depression.
 
Now I realize that there are whole bunch of articles on the web saying that the Depression Gene theory has been disproven, but I can't help but think that it really makes sense.  Especially given the evidence in my life.

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Jemima

I would hate to base any scientific conclusions on a YouTube presentation.  Has Professor Sapolsky published his findings in a format where they can be evaluated scientifically?

 

I tend to think that attitudes and behavior are passed down to children by example more so than by genetics.  Both my parents were worriers and my father, in particular, seemed to believe that every little thing that went wrong was a catastrophe.  As an only child, I could hardly help but learn to be this way myself.

 

One thing my long and painful withdrawal has done for me is to teach me that a lot of things are not worth being anxious or sad, and that the future is going to be what it will be regardless of my efforts to control it.  If I could cope with withdrawal--and I did--I can cope with most tough situations.

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Meimeiquest

I am third-generation for mental illness in my family, and it seems 20% of my grandmother's descendants are just more fragile. It skips all around....my grandmother, dad, and I are the only direct "line." But I still think it is a susceptibility, not a given. But we definitely struggle much harder to process life than the 80%.

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Lilu

I would hate to base any scientific conclusions on a YouTube presentation.  Has Professor Sapolsky published his findings in a format where they can be evaluated scientifically?

 

I tend to think that attitudes and behavior are passed down to children by example more so than by genetics.  Both my parents were worriers and my father, in particular, seemed to believe that every little thing that went wrong was a catastrophe.  As an only child, I could hardly help but learn to be this way myself.

 

One thing my long and painful withdrawal has done for me is to teach me that a lot of things are not worth being anxious or sad, and that the future is going to be what it will be regardless of my efforts to control it.  If I could cope with withdrawal--and I did--I can cope with most tough situations.

 

Dr. Sapolsky is teaching students about research already done. You can read about the study here: 

Getting the Short End of the Allele  (http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2003/07/18-03.html)

The study is based on data from 847 New Zealanders the scientists have been following for more than 2 decades. The researchers counted stressful life events, such as romantic disasters and job crises, occurring between the ages of 21 and 26 and asked subjects whether, at age 26, they had been depressed in the past year. For those whose lives had gone smoothly, the probability of depression was the same regardless of their 5-HTT alleles. But adverse experiences had more negative effects among people with one s allele and more still for those with two s alleles. For the latter (17% of the group), the probability of a major depression rose to 43% among those who had been through four or more stressful experiences--more than double the risk for those with two l's. Furthermore, among the 73 subjects who had been severely abused as children, the two-s subjects ran a 63% risk of a major depressive episode after the age of 18. In contrast, abused subjects with two l's had the same average risk (30%) as the no-abuse group.

 

The study shows that genes related to psychiatric ills don't operate all by themselves, Weinberger adds, but help determine “how one deals with the environment."

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Lilu

I am third-generation for mental illness in my family, and it seems 20% of my grandmother's descendants are just more fragile. It skips all around....my grandmother, dad, and I are the only direct "line." But I still think it is a susceptibility, not a given. But we definitely struggle much harder to process life than the 80%.

That must be a bit of a relief I would think, whereas I don't know of anyone in MY family.

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alexjuice
"There's nothing out there like Depression. Depression is absolutely crippling. Depression is incredibly pervasive.... Basically depression is like the worst disease you can get....It is devasting. It is wildly common....15% of us will get it at some point in our lifetimes. Currently, World Health Organization says that depression is the 4th leading cause of disability around the world."

 

I don't know anything at all about genetics or this professor. However, I am afraid that I could not agree that depression is like the worst disease you can get. I think that's a pretty sloppy thing to say... ALS is probably the worst disease you can get. Imagine if 15% of people lost motor neuron function?!

 

For such a wildly common problem, I'd think a simple explanation is probably the wrong explanation. That's my hunch. One thing I've learned is that reductionist explanations by experts are likely to be clever by half and incorrect or misapplied near 100% of the time. Of course, this could be an exception, but I'd look for alternative explanations.

 

Also, besides the usefulness of understanding the cause to cure the problem there seems to be a large pull to understand the answers to the 'why' questions when it comes to the neurotic and depressive maladies... As a sufferer of these diseases and their cures, I spend way more of my time doing the things that have shown a more positive risk:reward and less time wondering why they have a positive result. I hope you are able to find some relief Lilu...

 

best,

Alex

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Narcissus

There may be a gene correlated with a person's likeliness to develop depression, but that doesn't mean the gene is the cause of depression.  It's quite a leap to go from a single correlation to the idea that depression is a 'genetic disorder'.  I find it very strange that today the biological framework is treated as being synonymous with explanation.  As a psychologist, all you have to do is correlate some complex behavior with a biological event and voila!  You have yourself an explanation!  There are so many fallacies with this kind of reasoning that it'd be exhausting to try to detail them all.  Raymond Tallis is really the expert on this.  In my opinion, this is not a convincing explanation.  In fact, I don't even think it's in the realm of an explanation.  All the same, thanks for the video.

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Lilu

There may be a gene correlated with a person's likeliness to develop depression, but that doesn't mean the gene is the cause of depression.  It's quite a leap to go from a single correlation to the idea that depression is a 'genetic disorder'.  I find it very strange that today the biological framework is treated as being synonymous with explanation.  As a psychologist, all you have to do is correlate some complex behavior with a biological event and voila!  You have yourself an explanation!  There are so many fallacies with this kind of reasoning that it'd be exhausting to try to detail them all.  Raymond Tallis is really the expert on this.  In my opinion, this is not a convincing explanation.  In fact, I don't even think it's in the realm of an explanation.  All the same, thanks for the video.

 

The research shows, and as Professor Sapolsy explains, that the genetic mutation itself is NOT the cause of  Depression, nor does it predict that Depression will develop.  What it shows is that when faced with stressful situations, people with this particular mutation are 30% more likely to develop depression, than people without the mutation.  See?  And with each additional major life stress, the likelihood of a depressive episode occuring rises at twice the rate for people with this gene.  At least THAT is how I understand it.

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Narcissus

I see.  Sorry, I got annoyed when he used the phrase 'genetic disorder' and quit watching.  The idea that depression is really a kind of intolerance to stress is an interesting idea.  But again, simply pointing out that certain people are less tolerant to stress than others doesn't really explain anything.  The genetics are not an explanation, just a particular way of making this observation.  The question is WHY certain people are more sensitive to stress than others, and whether we can really count this sensitivity as a strict disadvantage.   

 

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Lilu

I see.  Sorry, I got annoyed when he used the phrase 'genetic disorder' and quit watching.  The idea that depression is really a kind of intolerance to stress is an interesting idea.  But again, simply pointing out that certain people are less tolerant to stress than others doesn't really explain anything.  The genetics are not an explanation, just a particular way of making this observation.  The question is WHY certain people are more sensitive to stress than others, and whether we can really count this sensitivity as a strict disadvantage.  

 

 

I don't know if you noticed the study that I posted above the link to the study that the professor's lecture mentioned:

 

Getting the Short End of the Allele  (http://news.sciencem...3/07/18-03.html

 

Basically this is what they're saying:

 

2 short alleles (whatever those are) + 4 or more stressful experiences = 43% probability of major depression.  

2 short alleles (whatever those are) + 4 or more stressful experiences + childhood abuse = 63% probability of major depression after age 18

 

And unfortunately, they have already disproven this theory:

 

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/324/5935/1628.short

 

DEPRESSION GENE

Back to the Drawing Board for Psychiatric Genetics

In 2003, researchers landed a huge catch: a gene variant that seemed to play a major role in whether people get depressed in response to life's stresses or sail through. The find, a polymorphism related to the neurotransmitter serotonin, was heralded as a prime example of "gene-environment interaction": whereby an environmental trigger influences the activity of a gene in a way that confers susceptibility. But an exhaustive new meta-analysis published last week in The Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that the big fish may be a minnow at best. A different team reanalyzed data from 14 studies, including the original one, and found that the cumulative data fail to support a connection between the gene, life stress, and depression.

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cymbaltawithdrawal5600

Looking for scientific validation for 'psychological' problems really is a snake pit, isn't it?

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Narcissus

^Indeed.Thanks for the update Lilu, I hadn't seen that.

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Altostrata

They cannot separate nature from nurture in these things. People who come from stressed families often display stress.

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Edted

To paraphrase an old line, "Fools and psychiatrists are both blind men in an unlit cellar at midnight, looking for a black cat that isn't there. The difference is, the psychiatrist finds it".

Ed

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Lilu

To paraphrase an old line, "Fools and psychiatrists are both blind men in an unlit cellar at midnight, looking for a black cat that isn't there. The difference is, the psychiatrist finds it".Ed

LOL I've never heard that one!

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Lilu

They cannot separate nature from nurture in these things. People who come from stressed families often display stress.

 

What do you mean by that?  I guess I cannot relate it to my family. My parents are both quite hyper and often agitated. Whereas I'm always calm. Doesn't mean that I'm not stressed, but it doesn't get exhibited outwardly.

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Jemima

To paraphrase an old line, "Fools and psychiatrists are both blind men in an unlit cellar at midnight, looking for a black cat that isn't there. The difference is, the psychiatrist finds it".Ed

 

Love it!  Thank you, Edted.

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Cookson

Very Interesting.

 

Both my parents are clinically depressed and are on anti depressants. So I do believe that you can have the right genetic traits to be biologically determined to get depressed.

 

But I do agree on Jemma's point also. After all we are nothing but a product of our environment and the behavioural  programing of our parents.

 

All good stuff!

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westcoast

I have been looking into this because of an article Sapolsky wrote about the German pilot which I think was full of holes. He said depression is 100% biological. I searched the literature for proof, and this was the study I found--the one in the first post.

 

Then I read it. Want to see what they actually concluded? The following os excerpted from a letter I wrote to Mad in America yesterday:

 

In 2011, a meta-analysis revealed that “...there probably is a real, if small, effect...” How small was this “probable” “real” effect? This small: “We agree with Lewis et al that testing for 5-HTTLPR genotype on its own is not likely to be clinically useful.”

 

And how can something be real while also being merely probable?

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InvisibleUnless

since this thread is still going, ill mention something from previous study: there is no genetic causes for diseases, most especially 'brain diseases' like psych diagnoses. there are genetic enablers that can help set the scene for illness, but even hard physical diseases that are genetic and degenerative rely on more than just DNA---environmental factors and bodily stressors play a requisite role in the development of illness. even fetal formation in the womb that is already running the course of some of these inherited diseases requires an active cycle to continue along its path. thats sort of the entire point of/impetus behind medical science (and also a big focus of more modern fields like gene therapy).

 

in terms of mental health, there are a variety of partially identified genes that are related (neither solely nor exclusively) to things like disposition and coping method preferentiality, and measuring these constellations can give you a slight edge on predicting the potential for mental health experiences, but we are fundamentally far more complex than we are capable of understanding or scrutinizing. we dont even understand DNA or the implications of gene sequences---we are largely just shooting off conjectures; theres real-world application, but something doesnt have to be correct to have successful application. the interaction of different elements within genomes is NOT understood by science, and our experimentation has also led to a lot of dangerous application, like GMO foods that lose quality or become toxins within the human body because you cant play pick-and-choose with gene sequences and expect everything else to operate as usual.

 

its also important to note how easily we can change our genes, both activating and inactivating particulars, and most especially damaging, mutating, and altering our own DNA---even the DNA we pass on to children. a lot of processes of illness or fatal physical collapse reflect a breakdown of genetic functioning due to internal and external factors. even aside from the question of human mortality or morbidity, its staggering how easily we can alter our own 'predispositions' to diseases or non-disease traits simply through lifestyle and exposure to environmental factors. people tend to think of genetic lineage as a rather linear thing, but we are more...fuzzy. so tackling a problem as complex as depression, which lacks unifying diagnostic criteria and expression, it seems quite unfeasible to reduce incidence to clean-cut gene sequences and heredity.

 

im sorely missing sleep, i hope this is at least half-way legible.

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btdt

I have been looking into this because of an article Sapolsky wrote about the German pilot which I think was full of holes. He said depression is 100% biological. I searched the literature for proof, and this was the study I found--the one in the first post.

 

Then I read it. Want to see what they actually concluded? The following os excerpted from a letter I wrote to Mad in America yesterday:

 

In 2011, a meta-analysis revealed that “...there probably is a real, if small, effect...” How small was this “probable” “real” effect? This small: “We agree with Lewis et al that testing for 5-HTTLPR genotype on its own is not likely to be clinically useful.”

 

And how can something be real while also being merely probable?

The same way being shy is a disease and ssris are like insulin.... 

is there money behind it... 

take a jump in the dark and grab some cash... 

put the marketing machine to work 

walla patent money in the bank... 

 

makes me want to gag I see if from a mile away.

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Lilu

New study:

http://www.alphagalileo.org/ViewITem.aspx?Itemid=151616&CultureCode=en

 

Suffering from abuse during childhood increases the chances of depression, above all in those adults who are genetically predisposed
13 April 2015 11:07 University of Granada

 

An international research project led by scientists from the U. of Granada has demonstrated that the risk of suffering from depression due to abuse during childhood is significantly higher in those patients who are genetically predisposed.

This research has been published in the prestigious Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, and it has been coordinated by Prof.Blanca Gutiérrez, from the Psychiatry Department at the U. of Granada. Participants include researchers from the CIBERSAM group (UGR Centre for Biomedical Research), the Biostatistics Department at the U. of Granada, King’s College in London, Loyola University in Andalusia, the University of Seville, the University of Zaragoza, the Health Service of La Rioja, the Health Service of the Canary Islands, and the San Cecilio Clinical University Hospital in Granada.

Scientists analysed a sample which consisted of 2.679 primary health care patients from 41 different health clinics in seven different Spanish provinces, between the ages of 18 and 75. They were all followed during a period of three years, and the survey included genetic tests.

The results demonstrated that those individuals who have scarcely functional genes implied in neurotrophism (BDNF) and in serotonin transmission are particularly vulnerable to the noxious effects that childhood abuse (either psychological, physical or sexual) has upon general mood and as a risk factor in clinical depression.

According to prof. Gutiérrez “it is an important result, which proves a triple genetic-environmental sort of interaction whose relevance is even more important if we take into consideration that the response to antidepressants appears to be fundamentally mediated through proteins codified by the two genes we have studied.”

“Our results present a fundamental genetic-environmental model to explain this sort of therapeutic response”, concludes this researcher from the U. of Granada.

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btdt

New study:

http://www.alphagalileo.org/ViewITem.aspx?Itemid=151616&CultureCode=en

 

Suffering from abuse during childhood increases the chances of depression, above all in those adults who are genetically predisposed

13 April 2015 11:07 University of Granada

 

An international research project led by scientists from the U. of Granada has demonstrated that the risk of suffering from depression due to abuse during childhood is significantly higher in those patients who are genetically predisposed.

This research has been published in the prestigious Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, and it has been coordinated by Prof.Blanca Gutiérrez, from the Psychiatry Department at the U. of Granada. Participants include researchers from the CIBERSAM group (UGR Centre for Biomedical Research), the Biostatistics Department at the U. of Granada, King’s College in London, Loyola University in Andalusia, the University of Seville, the University of Zaragoza, the Health Service of La Rioja, the Health Service of the Canary Islands, and the San Cecilio Clinical University Hospital in Granada.

Scientists analysed a sample which consisted of 2.679 primary health care patients from 41 different health clinics in seven different Spanish provinces, between the ages of 18 and 75. They were all followed during a period of three years, and the survey included genetic tests.

The results demonstrated that those individuals who have scarcely functional genes implied in neurotrophism (BDNF) and in serotonin transmission are particularly vulnerable to the noxious effects that childhood abuse (either psychological, physical or sexual) has upon general mood and as a risk factor in clinical depression.

According to prof. Gutiérrez “it is an important result, which proves a triple genetic-environmental sort of interaction whose relevance is even more important if we take into consideration that the response to antidepressants appears to be fundamentally mediated through proteins codified by the two genes we have studied.”

“Our results present a fundamental genetic-environmental model to explain this sort of therapeutic response”, concludes this researcher from the U. of Granada.

" antidepressants appears to be fundamentally mediated through proteins codified by the two genes we have studied.”"

 

see that word "appears"  that is like we are guessing... it is the like the word "thought" they use to say serotonin is "thought" to be involved with depression... another bit of double talk from those who are best at it. 

 

Scientists analysed a sample which consisted of 2.679 primary health care patients from 41 different health clinics in seven different Spanish provinces, between the ages of 18 and 75. "

 

How did they pick these people... the worst of the worst?  What is the criteria?  We all know that participants and how the study is designed can be how trials can predict the outcome... if you want all the people to be better on a drug pick the best to start with ect we have seen all sorts of ticks and slight of hand in studies to get the results the study designers wanted to get.  

 

"The same way being shy is a disease and ssris are like insulin.... 

is there money behind it... 

take a jump in the dark and grab some cash... 

put the marketing machine to work 

walla patent money in the bank... 

 

makes me want to gag I see if from a mile away."

 

JADED not buying but then again I am done shopping

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