Briggs Welcomes Research by Edinburgh University into Genes Linked with Depression

New Research by Edinburgh University has identified almost 80 genes that could be linked to triggering depression.

These research might be able to explain why some people are more predisposed to developing depression.

The benefits of the research are that it may help researchers to develop drugs that will tackle mental ill health.

Depression is one of the main health challenges in the UK affecting one in five people every year.

Scientists led by the University of Edinburgh analysed data from UK Biobank – a research resource containing health and genetic information for half a million people.

They scanned the genetic code of 300,000 people to identify areas of DNA that could be linked to depression.

Some of the pinpointed genes are known to be involved in the function of synapses, tiny connectors that allow brain cells to communicate with each other through electrical and chemical signals.

The scientists then confirmed their findings by examining anonymised data held by the personal genetics and research company 23andMe, used with the donors’ consent.

The study, published in Nature Communications, was funded by Wellcome as part of Stratifying Resilience and Depression Longitudinally, a £4.7 million project to better understand the condition.

Miles Briggs is a member of the Cross Party Group in the Scottish Parliament on Mental Health.

Miles Briggs Scottish Conservative Health spokesman comments:

“This is another example of the exceptional research carried out by the world renowned University of Edinburgh.

“Depression is one of the main health challenges that we face in Scotland with the condition affecting so many people.

“Mental health is one of the least well understood areas of medicine and the more that we know about it the better.


Miles Briggs