Emotion Bias and Risk for Depression

Proposal details

Title: Emotion Bias and Risk for Depression
Research Area(s): Emotion and Self Regulation
Thinking and Cognition
Background: The World Health Organisation (WHO) ranks depression second only to ischemic heart disease in terms of societal and economic burden of disease. Approximately 5% (1 in 20) of the population are likely to experience a major depression. Substantially more people (up to 30%) experience subclinical depressions which do not meet diagnostic criteria for chronic mood disorder or major depression, but are nonetheless associated with risk of major depression (1). While depression causes considerable suffering, we still know relatively little about the interacting factors which define risk for depression. The goal of this study is to identify markers of the gene-brain-behaviour pathways which increase risk for depression. It will be the first to integrate genetic, biological and temperamental risk factors in the pathway to depression in the same subjects, and to consider both relatives and non-relatives. This approach accords with the dimensional expression of depression, and will provide initial evidence on the trait-like nature of gene-brain-behaviour markers for depression without the potential confounds of disease. It will also be the first to examine multiple genetic and brain structure and function markers of risk depression in the one study
Aims: Aim 4: To demonstrate that trait neuroticism is a temperamental endophenotype marker of risk for depression, related to genotype markers.
Method: Recruitment of first degree relatives of people who have a history of major depression. These subjects will be assessed according to the protocols used at the Brain Dynamices Centre. In this particular analysis we are interested in the emotion paradigms administered as part of the psychometrics battery.