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研究新发现:锁定躁郁症真凶 原是基因在作祟

kira86 于2009-06-24发布 l 已有人浏览
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New Study Disputes 'Depression Gene' Finding This is the VOA Special English Health Report.We all know that so
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New Study Disputes 'Depression Gene' Finding




This is the VOA Special English Health Report.

We all know that some people do not seem as emotionally strong as others when life gets difficult. But why is that? A study published in two thousand three in the journal Science offered an answer.

躁郁症(manic-depression),一般而言是指个体有时出现抑郁的症状,有时又出现狂躁的症状,此两种特征不断的交互出现之情形,因此又称之为双极性疾患(bipolar disorder),也就是说个体会出现两极的情绪反应,一为狂躁,另一为抑郁。当个体在狂躁阶段,其出现的特征为情绪异常兴奋、自我膨胀,睡眠时数减少,非常健谈、多话,常常是滔滔不绝讲个没完,另外他们的思考或想法也经常跳来跳去,称之为跳跃性思考(flight of ideas),易分心,在行为上我们可以看到其常常疯狂购物,而不管价钱多少等失控行为特征。当个体处于抑郁的阶段,其特征又显示出心情沮丧低沈、对任何事缺乏反应或兴趣、体重改变、产生睡眠困扰、缺乏活力、负向的认知或看法等等的特征。

DepressionThe study followed almost eight hundred fifty people from birth through age twenty-six. Researchers found that those with a short version of a certain gene were more likely to get depressed after a sad or difficult experience.

They found that people with the normal length of the gene were better able to weather life's storms. The gene is a transporter of serotonin, a brain chemical involved with mood and desire for food.

The two thousand three study captured attention among mental health professionals, and popular culture. In fact, Science magazine recognized the discovery of "genes for mental illness" as the number two "Breakthrough of the Year." The winner was observations about mysteries of the universe.

Last week, however, other researchers published findings of a large new study. They report finding no link between the serotonin transporter gene and the risk of depression. The findings appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Neil Risch is director of the University of California, San Francisco, Institute for Human Genetics and a leader of the new study. He says the earlier study gained so much recognition, it became -- in his words -- "fixed in many people's minds as true."

The National Institute of Mental Health and Kaiser Permanente Northern California also took part in the latest study.

The researchers used information from fourteen studies involving more than fourteen thousand patients. The scientists examined the data using the same measures as the two thousand three study.

They found that the risk of depression was not higher among those with the shorter gene. But they also found that stressful events themselves did appear to increase the risk for depression.

Neuroscientist Avshalom Caspi, then at Kings College London, led the two thousand three study. He is now at Duke University in North Carolina. He has criticized the new study as incomplete. He says it ignores evidence that supports the original research.

Peter Zandi is a genetic researcher at John Hopkins University School of Public Health in Maryland. He agrees that this latest study is not the final word.

PETER ZANDI: "After many years of trying to figure out what is going on with the genetic cause of depression, we're still not there yet."

And that's the VOA Special English Health Report, written by Caty Weaver. For more health news, go to en8848.com. I'm Steve Ember.

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