What common genetic variants in children and adolescents have been found to influence their susceptibility for major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Updated: Mar 28, 2019
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Answer

Nobile et al found that human platelet 5-HT uptake is differentially influenced in children and adolescents with and without depression by a common genetic variant of the promoter region of the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR). Depressed persons had a lower rate of serotonin uptake and a lower serotonin dissociation constant [26]

Birmaher et al found that before the onset of affective illness, children who were at high risk for depression, on the basis of family history, had the same pattern of neuroendocrine response to infusion of a serotonergic precursor (5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan) challenge as did children with major depression. Compared with low-risk children, high-risk children and depressed children secreted significantly less cortisol and, in girls, more prolactin. [27] These findings could constitute the identification of a trait marker for depression in children.


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