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Prone to anxiety disorders? It’s your genes talking

Updated on:12 May 2021, 17:20pm IST
While anxiety and other mental health disorders are undoubtedly a serious cause of concern, your genes may have a lot to do with them.
ANI
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adverse life events
Exposure to adverse events impacts one's adult physical and mental life massively. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

In today’s fast-paced world, anxiety issues and mental health disorders are on the rise. According to a recent study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, six gene types may determine if a person would be prone to anxiety.

The detailed study was conducted on 200,000 veteran military personnel by researchers from Yale.

As per the findings, certain specific genes influence depression to an extent of post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder and even schizophrenia.

Though explaining anxiety, depression and other mental health issues might not be possible yet, traces of certain genes’ risk factors have been confirmed. Joel Gelernter, co-lead author and professor of Psychiatry believes that this is the most useful outcome till date from a study around anxiety.

“While there were many studies on the genetic basis of depression earlier, countable have looked for gene variants linked to anxiety, disorders affecting every 1 in 10 Americans,” voiced senior author Murray Stein.

For the study, the researchers collaborated with colleagues from Veteran Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System, the University of California San Diego and VA San Diego Healthcare System.

A number of these variants have a link with genes that contribute towards governing gene activity or interestingly, to estrogen, the gene involved with sexual activity. This naturally explains why females tend to suffer from anxiety more than men.

Yale’s Daniel Levey, a postdoctoral associate and co-lead author of the study looks forward to the outcome and future prospect. He shared, “One of the goals of this research is to find important risk genes that are associated with risk for many psychiatric and behavioural traits for which we don’t have a good explanation.”

Also read: Anxiety got you down? We got 10 mental health experts to suggest how you can tame that beast