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Better Treatments Sought

Researchers in Australia are aiming to get to the bottom of how genetics influences depression, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Early results from the Australian Genetics of Depression Study show that many people with major depressive disorder have to try a number of different medications and combination of drugs to find what works for them while also minimizing side effects of the therapies.

"We've reached the limit of our current knowledge of treating clinical depression," Ian Hickie, from the Brain and Mind Centre at the University of Sydney tells the Herald. He adds that certain gene variants have been linked to depression and that further genetic studies may be able to tease out additional risk factors.

By doing that, Nick Martin from at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute says that researchers may be able to develop better medications for depression. "Only then, through cracking the genetic code of clinical depression, will we be able to develop new, and more effective, personalized treatments that target the problem directly," he tells the Herald.