How Does Genetic Vulnerability Affect Mental Health

How does genetic vulnerability affect mental health?

Genetic polymorphisms: These changes in our DNA make us unique as individuals. A polymorphism alone will not lead to the development of a mental disorder. However, the combination of one or more specific polymorphisms and certain environmental factors may lead to the development of a mental disorder. Certain genes may increase your risk of developing a mental illness, and your life situation may trigger it. Environmental exposures before birth. Exposure to environmental stressors, inflammatory conditions, toxins, alcohol or drugs while in the womb can sometimes be linked to mental illness.Mental illness itself comes from the interaction of multiple genes and other factors – such as stress, abuse, or a traumatic event – which can influence, or trigger, an illness in a person who has an inherited likeliness to have it.

Which mental health disorder has the highest link to genetics?

One of the most highly genetically inherited psychiatric disorders is bipolar disorder which may affect as much as 1-4% of the population. The chromosome 3p25-26 was found in more than 800 families with recurrent depression. Scientists believe that as many as 40 percent of those with depression can trace it to a genetic link. Environmental and other factors may make up the other 60 percent.That is the case for major depression. Heritability is probably 40-50%, and might be higher for severe depression. This could mean that in most cases of depression, around 50% of the cause is genetic, and around 50% is unrelated to genes (psychological or physical factors).If someone has a parent or sibling with major depression, that person probably has a 2 or 3 times greater risk of developing depression compared with the average person (or around 20-30% instead of 10%).

How do genetic factors cause mental illness?

The Relationship Between Mental Health and Genes Instances of sadness and anxiety have been connected to polymorphisms in genes that control neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. Schizophrenia and bipolar disease have both been related to changes in genes thought to control brain development and function. Several studies have suggested that depressive symptoms are caused by decreased levels of the neurotransmitter’s serotonin and dopamine (Phillips, 2017), which are under the control of genes: SLC6A4 Serotonin transporter gene TPH2 transporter gene, Tryptophan hydroxylase and COMT gene.

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