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Developments in Brief : Study Links Genetics to Depression, Suicide

November 16, 1986|Compiled from Times staff and wire service reports

A parent-child study shows that heredity may be linked to certain forms of depression and suicide, according to an international team of researchers.

The findings contend that a genetic link--rather than social and environmental factors--frequently is associated with major depression and suicidal tendencies.

Dr. Paul H. Wender, a researcher at the University of Utah School of Medicine, said the study, conducted by a team of American and Danish researchers, is the latest in a series of attempt to find a link between certain forms of mental illness and genetic causes.

Published in the October issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, the study focused on comparisons between adopted children, their adoptive parents and their biological parents and relatives.

In studying 71 adopted children who suffered depression or who attempted suicide, the researchers found that the biological parents suffered from the same conditions far more often than the adoptive parents, Wender said.

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