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Genetic link between Depression and Cardiovascular Disease

Oct 17
“Depression is much more complex than most people think, and it includes dysfunction at multiple biological levels, from genes to brain regions, and blood circulating through the body,” says Professor Bernhard Baune, Head of Psychiatry at the Universtiy of Adelaide.
Dr. Braune and his team recently published a systematic review of genes in relation to depression in the brain in the journal of Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. Specifically, the research identified the gene PXMP2 to be a potential candidate that plays a key role in linking depression and cardiovascular diseases.
PXMP2 plays a role in the structural support of peroxisome, which break down fatty acids in the body and turning them into energy for the body.
Dr. Braune explains PXMP2 is seen to be robustly expressed in the body during depression, however the gene and its functions have not been extensively investigated in relation to mood disorders. “With the shared pathways between cardiovascular disorders and depression, we suggest that faulty regulation of the PXMP2 gene may play a role in depressive disorders via specific metabolic pathways,” says Dr. Braune.
Dr. Braune remarks that it is unlikely one single gene has the biggest role to play. There is growing research on how networks and gene expression can play a role in depression.
Identifying and studying PXMP2 in relation to depression can prove to be a promising experimental model for depression biomarker research. This research confirms what many researchers, psychiatrists, and psychologists recognize in patients who often present with a chronic mental and/or physical condition. The added physiological evidence linking mood disorders and cardiovascular disorders or chronic conditions require physicians and care providers to re-examine their approach to mental health care and apply a comprehensive approach to care.

Full Article Link: Liliana G. Ciobanu et al. Differential gene expression in brain and peripheral tissues in depression across the life span: A review of replicated findings, Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews (2016). DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.08.018 

Full Article Link: DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.08.018

Dr. Sam Ozersky, MD

Sam is Mensante's founder and CEO. He speaks and writes extensively about the critical relationship between mental health and the workplace.