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Discuss research into the contribution of genetic and neurological factors to depression.

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Discuss research into the contribution of genetic and neurological factors to depression There is not much evidence for genetic factors in unipolar depression, but there is quite strong evidence in bipolar. Family history studies indicate that first-degree biological relatives (parents, siblings and children) of those with severe psychotic depression have a morbidity risk of between 4-24%, whereas the risk in the general population is 1-2%. However the problem with family studies is that they share the same environment and the nature-nurture debate comes into play. ...read more.


Dizygotic twins 23 Monoxygotic raised together 68 Monoxygotic raised apart 67 Adoption studies have also provided genetic evidence. In a study by Cadoret 126 adopted children, 8 of which had a manic-depressive biological parent, but health adopted parents were observed. Three out of the eight later developed a major affective disorder, compared to only eight of the remaining 118 children. Whilst genetic evidence for manic-depression is strong no study has shown a 100% concordance level, indicating that it might be a predisposing factor, and there might be other precipitating causes. ...read more.


And the replica drug L-dopa has no specific anti-depressant effect on people with low levels of dopamine. High levels of hormone cortisol in depressive patients have been found and techniques known to suppress cortisol secretion have been successful. However this may be due t the stress of being ill, because increased cortisol secretion is a function of the stress response. However, one of the problems with trying to ascertain hormonal links with depression is that there are invariably social changes occurring at the same time. A possible explanation is that hormonal changes interact with a genetic predisposition to depression, together with excessive tiredness and a domestic stressful situation. ...read more.

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