Major depression comes with an unexpected metabolic signature, according to new findings.
Authors in search of genes that increase depression risk analyzed thousands of women. those with recurrent major depression and healthy controls, and found that many of the women with depression also had experienced adversity in childhood, including sexual abuse.
The researchers noticed something rather unusual in the DNA. The samples taken from women with a history of stress-related depression contained more mitochondrial DNA than other samples.
"Our most notable finding is that the amount of mitochondrial DNA changes in response to stress," says Professor Jonathan Flint of the University of Oxford.