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Depression and type 2 genetic link found

By Editor
28th June 2016
Latest news, Research

Psychiatric researchers have discovered a genetic link between depression and type 2 diabetes.

A “significant” genetic overlap has unveiled following a study aimed to show the connection between the two conditions.

Dr Carol Kan and her team from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London have been investigating the extent to which the co-occurrences could be due to interactions between genetic and environmental risk factors using two approaches; twin data and genome wide association studies (GWAS).

‘Genetic overlap’ 

The findings presented this week at the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ International Congress, demonstrate that the relation between depression and type 2 diabetes may be genetic in origin and could have significant clinical importance.

Dr Kan said: “We are still in the early days, but we have demonstrated significant genetic overlap between type 2 diabetes and depression in three twin registries. Larger scale studies will further help us to address this complex research question.”

People with depression may be up to 60 per cent more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes and those with type 2 diabetes are around 15 per cent more at risk of developing depression, according to previous research.

Scientific studies have consistently shown a two-way epidemiological association between type 2 diabetes and depression which were reflected in previous studies.

The mechanisms underlying the association between both conditions are still unclear, although common biological pathways have been implicated in the development of the two.

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