Depression genes and risk factors Enhanced links are provided by Diverse Kegg pathway analysis of GWAS and other networks

Site search Loading

Search MedlinePlus: CDC depression
Mental health information at Psych Central
Ongoing clinical trails, worldwide, can be interrogated at ClinicalTrials.Gov a service of the US National Institutes of Health CONVERGE Consortium

Jobs by Indeed




Post a job in the UK


Multiple genes of small effect, whose risk promoting ability is conditioned by other genes and risk factors: For this reason any positive studies are reported.

See also:- The fox and the rabbits, environmental variables and population genetics.1: Replication problems in association studies and the untapped power of GWAS. ISRN Neurology, 2011


Genes needing KEGG mapping:NOS3 SYNE1 CDH7

KEGG pathway analysis of depression genes


Maternal, paternal and prenatal effects Adult Infections
  • Depression is frequently observed in Hepatitis C infected patients Weinstein et al, 2011
  • and in Hepatitis B infection Altindag et al, 2009
  • or HIV-1 infection Bragança and Palha, 2011
  • and associated with herpes simplex encephalitis Fazekas et al, 2006
  • Depression has been associated with human T-cell lymphotropic virus( HTLV-1) infection Stumpf et al, 2008
  • Bornavirus infection or reactivation have been linked to depression and other affective disorders Ferszt et al, 1999
    • Bornavirus related symptomatology has been reported to be improved after CSF filtration Bechter et al, 2000
  • Seropositivity for influenza A, Influenza B and coronaviruses has been associated with a history of mood disorders but not with the specific diagnosis of unipolar or bipolar depression. Seropositivity for influenza B was associated with a history of suicide attempts and a history of psychotic symptoms Okusaga et al, 2011 .
  • Depression has been observed in poliomyelitis survivors Kang and Lin 2011
  • Chagas disease, caused by Trypanosoma Cruzi is associated with depression Ozaki et al, 2011
  • Varicella Zoster cell specific immunity was lower in depressed patients and inversely correlated with the severity of depressive symptoms .
  • Neurobrucellosis has been linked to depression Eren et al, 2006
  • Nipah virus encephalitis has been associated with depression Ng et al, 2004
  • Lyme disease (Borrelia infection) has ben aaaociated with depression Kaplan et al, 1999
  • Suicide attempts in recurrent mood disorders have been linked to T.Gondii seropositivity Arling et al, 2009
  • Sexually transmitted infections have been linked to depression Lee et al, 2009
  • High salivary Lactobacillus counts have been associated with depressive symptoms Anttila et al, 1999
  • Depression has been associated with tooth loss in older men Anttila et al, 2001
  • Antibodies to lipopolysaccharide of commensal bacteria have been associated with depression (bacterial translocation and "leaky gut") Maes et al, 2012
  • Skin infections commonly associated with psychiatric disorders including depression Gupta et al, 2013
  • Meta-analysis showed statistically significant associations between depression and infection with Borna disease virus, herpes simplex virus-1, varicella zoster virus, Epstein-Barr virus, and Chlamydophila trachomatis Wang et al, 2014.

Social factors

Association with other diseases

  • Depression has been associated with autism spectrum disorders Magnuson and Constantino, 2011
    • and with attention hyperactivity deficit disorder in the young Cole et al, 2009
  • Coeliac disease has been associated with depression Addolorato et al, 2008
  • Comorbid conitions include coronary heart disease Ai et al, 2010
  • Depression has been associated with migraine Antonaci et al, 2011
  • Depression has been asociated with the subsequent risk of developing Parkinson's disease Fang et al, 2010
  • Late-life depression can be indicative of dementia or Alzheimer's disease Frisardi et al, 2011
  • A biderectional relationship with epilepsy Kanner, 2011
  • Associated conditions include low bone mass and central obesity Cizza. 2011
  • Depression observed with carotid artery stenosis Gressier et al, 2011
  • Association with Sjogren's syndrome Kang and Lin, 2010
  • Depression is one of several comorbid conditions in schizophrenia Buckley et al, 2009
  • Higher incidences of depression, myocardial infarction, lung cancer, diabetes and hip fracture have been reported in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Sode et al, 2011
  • A bidirectional relationship may exist between type 2 diabetes and depression: type 2 diabetes increases the risk for onset of major depression, and a major depressive disorder increases risk of onset of type 2 diabetes, reviewed in Ducat et al, 2014
  • Psychiatric problems including psychosis and depression are observed in Cushing syndrome (associated with high cortisol) Hirsch et al, 2000
  • Depression is relatively common in systemic lupus erythematosus Meszaros et al, 2012
  • Childhood-adolescence obesity has been reported as risk factor for adult depression Sanchez-Villegas et al, 2013.

Dietary and environmental factors and drugs

  • Ecstasy use ( Methylenedioxymethamphetamine ) has been associated with depression Matthews and Bruno, 2010
  • Vitamin B12 or Holotranscobalamin deficiency has been linked with depression Robinson et al, 2011 coupled with high levels of homocysteine Almedia et al, 2008
    • High total intakes of vitamins B-6 and B-12 may protect against depresion in the elderly Skarupski et al, 2010
    • Long-term treatment of poststroke survivors with folic acid, vitamin B6, and B12 was associated with a reduction in major depression risk Almeida et al, 2010
  • Diethylstilbestrol use has been associated with depression in women Kebir and Krebs, 2011
  • Interferon alpha (used for hepatitis C treatment) is often associated with depression .Galvão-de Almeida et al, 2011
  • Childhood depression may be associated with future smoking Niemelä et al, 2009
  • Low fish consumption has been associated with severely depressed mood in men Li et al, 2011
  • Air pollution has been linked to depression Szyszkowicz and Tremblay, 2011
  • Serum cotinine levels ( an index of second hand smoke) has been associated with major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and conduct disorder Bandiera et al, 2011
  • Pesticide use, particularly paraquat, has ben associated with depression in farmers Kim et al, 2013
  • Herbicide use has been associated with depression in agriculural workers Weisskopf et al, 2013
  • Population suicide rates have been linked to the distribution of coal-fired electricity plants Spangler, 2013

Biochemistry and pathology

  • Loss of white matter intergrity in the limbic system and frontal cortex related to demyelination Korgaonkar et al, 2011
  • Grey matter loss in the limbic system and frontal cortex characterised by synaptic poverty Bennett, 2011
  • Lower hippocampal volume Baaré et al, 2010
  • Plasma levels of beta-amyloid (1-42) may predict late life depression Blasko et al, 2010
  • Depression associated with low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in women, but low low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in men Ancelin et al, 2010
  • High plasma levels of lipoprotein a ( LPA ) have been reported in depression Hamidifard et al, 2009
  • Increased superoxide dismutase (SOD1) and catalase activity and malondialdehyde levels in erythrocytes during depressive episodes (oxidative stress) Galecki et al, 2009
  • Low whole blood glutathione peroxidase acivity Maes et al, 2011
  • Reduced levels of glutathione in the prefrontal cortex Gawryluk et al, 2011
  • Multiple aberrations in inflammatory, oxidative and nitic oxide related stress pathways Maes et al, 2010
  • Lower levels of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in depressed patients Baghai et al, 2010
    • lower levels of eicosapentaenoic acid , docosahexaenoic acid , and total n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in patients with depression Lin et al, 2010
  • Reduced expression of fatty acid synthesis genes in the frontal cortex in depression McNamara and Liu, 2011
  • Low levels of plasma tryptophan and induction of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase indicative of infection/immune activation Maes, 2011
  • Plasma levels of kynurenine elevated in severe depression Sublette et al, 2011 Modified ratios of kynureine to kynerenic acid have been reported in depression and other psychiatric disorders Myint , 2012
  • Lower blood levels of BDNF in depressed patients Yoshimura et al, 2010
  • High plasma nesfatin-1 levels have been reported in depression Ari et al, 2010
  • Suicidal patients display a distinct peripheral blood cytokine profile compared to non-suicidal depressed patients (increased levels of IL-6 and TNF-alpha and decreased IL-2) Janelidze et al, 2011
    • Plasma aldosterone levels have also been reported to be lower in suicidal depression Hallberg et al, 2011
  • Increased plasma oxytocin levels Parker et al, 2010
  • Low levels of CSF S-adenosylmethionine have been reported in depression Bottiglieri et al, 1990
    • S-adenosylmethionine has been reported to possess antidepressant effects Papakostas , 2009

Depression and the immune system

  • Pro-inflammatory cytokines and lipopolysacharide ( a bacterial cell wall component ) may induce depressive symptoms Maes et al, 2008.
  • Depression is associated with a suppression of mitogen-induced lymphocyte proliferation and with a reduction of natural killer kell activity activity Irwin, 1999
  • Depression has been frequently associated with Vitamin D deficiency Stalpers-Konijnenburg et al, 2011 :
  • Low 25(OH)-vitamin D status associated with a higher level of postnatal depression symptoms Robinson et al, 2014
    • and with lack of sunshine (needed for vitamin D synthesis)
    • See Seasonal affective disorder Gagné et al, 2010
  • Atopy (Immunoglobulin E related allergies) can be associated with a greater risk for developing depression in women Timonen et al, 2002
  • Depression and fatigue during chronic Interferon alpha treatment were associated with alterations in the expression (OAS2) and transcriptional control (CREB/ATF) of genes linked to behavioral disorders including chronic fatigue syndrome and major depression, supporting an immune contribution to these diseases Felger et al, 2011.
  • An inflammatory signature (CAPRIN1, CLEC4A, KRT23, MLC1, PLSCR1, PROK2, ZBTB16) in lipopolysaccharide stimulated blood Spijker et al, 2010
  • Autoantibodies to serotonin Maes et al, 2011
  • Depression is characterized by IgM-related autoimmune responses directed against a) neoepitopes that are normally not detected by the immune system but that due to damage by oxidative and nitrosative stress have become immunogenic; and b) anchorage epitopes, i.e. palmitic and myristic acids, and S-farnesyl-L-cysteine
    • IgM levels directed against conjugated palmitic and myristic acids, acetylcholine, S-farnesyl-L-cysteine; and the conjugated NO adducts, NO-tyrosine, NO-phenylalanine, NO-aspartate, NO-histidine, and NO-creatine increased in depression Maes et al, 2011
  • Suicide risk has been linked to pollen counts (Danish register) Qin et al, 2013


  • Mainly serotonin (SSRI's) or varying combinations of serotonin/noradrenaline /dopamine uptake blockers, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (see Wikipedia)
  • N-acetyl cysteine (glutathione precursor) has been used as a supplement in bipolar depression Berk et al, 2008
  • Supplementation with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids is effictive in depression treatment in elderly female patients Rondanelli et al, 2010
  • Excercise may have beneficial effects in depression Trivedi et al, 2011
  • Ketamine has been shown to be effective

Geography/season and other

  • Major depression has been associated with height above sea-level (possibly related to hypoxic stress) DelMastro et al, 2011
  • Suicide peaks in the spring months were observed in a large Danish study Postolache et al, 2010
  • Seasonal affective disorder related to latitude (greater in the north in Greenland ) Kegel et al, 2009
  • Old age is a risk factor for depression and after dementia, is the most common disease in the over 65 Orzechowska et al. 2008
  • Television and total media exposure in adolescence are associated with increased odds of depressive symptoms in young adulthood, especially in young men Primak et al, 2009.
  • Depressed patients show accelerated cellular aging as measured by shorter telomere length Verhoeven et al, 2013

Unipolar depressive disorders world map from Wikimedia commons Lokal_Profil


Depression news headlines provided courtesy of Medical News Today.





    Enhanced with Snapshots 

View Stats

Last update: July 10, 2014