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Genetic Disorder Report: Clinical Depression

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A mutation is the changing of a gene’s structure, resulting in a various form that may be passed down throughout generations, that is caused by the alteration of single base units in DNA, or the deletion, insertion, or substitution of larger sections of the genes or chromosomes. Insertions are extra base pairs that are added, deletions are base pairs that are removed from the DNA, substitution is when a base pair exchanges one base for another. A type of genetic disorder is called clinical depression. Depression is known as a genetic, mental, and mood disorder that causes a constant feeling of extreme sadness and loss of interest in what a person used to consider fun. Depression is a disorder that ranges from mild to severe. Clinical depression, which is also known as major depression or major depressive disorder, is a more severe form of depression.

The first symptoms of depression were recorded by a Greek physician, who was known as “The Father of Western Medicine”, Hippocrates, somewhere between 460-370 BCE, which during the time it was called and classified as mania, melancholia, and phrenitis. In modern day, depression is now classified as its own mental disorder. Some symptoms of clinical depression are: feelings of sadness, emptiness, and/or hopelessness, irritability and/or frustration, loss of interest in most or all normal activities, sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much, fatigue and lack of energy, loss or increase of appetite, anxiety, agitation, and/or restlessness, slowed thinking, speaking or body movements, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, trouble thinking and concentrating, trouble making decisions, and trying to remembering things, having frequent or recurring thoughts or attempts of suicide, physical problems that happen for no reason. These are the symptom criteria for major depressive disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is published by the American Psychiatric Association, that are used by doctors. The chromosomes that cause or are or may be linked to clinical depression are chromosome 11, chromosome 15, chromosome 15, chromosome 3, chromosome 2. The genes that are or may be linked to clinical depression are the genes 5HTTP/SLC6A4, APOE, DRD4, GNB3, HTR1A, MTHFR, SLC6A15, and SLC6A3.

The World Health Organization estimated that 10-15% of the general population will experience clinical depression during their lifetime, 5% of men and 9% of women will experience a depressive disorder in a given year. Women have doubled the chances of having depression compared to men. Clinical depression occurs in all ethnicity and age groups. The age group that clinical depression occurs the most in our teenagers to young adult. Treatments used for clinical depression are medication selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, atypical antidepressants, tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, and other medications.

Other than antidepressants psychotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation is used to treat depression. Not only is clinical depression a mental and mood disorder, it is also a genetic disorder. Clinical depression is not only caused by outside factors, it can also be passed down from generation to generation.

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