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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 73-80

Role of the serotonin transporter gene in susceptibility to mood disorders in children of depressed parents


1 Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt
2 Department of Clinical Pathology, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Mohammad A Seleem
Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, Tanta University Hospital, El-Geish Street, Tanta 31111
Egypt
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1110-1105.158114

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Objective The aim of the study was to explore psychological and behavioral disturbances in a sample of Egyptian children with depressed parents and investigate the potential role of the short (s) alleles of the serotonin transporter-linked polymorphic region in developing depressive symptoms in both parents and their offspring. Subjects and methods The study included 20 families with depressed parents and their offspring (age 6-18 years), who were compared with 20 control families with healthy parents. The Child Behavior Check List was filled by parents for children to detect syndromal and subsyndromal symptoms of mood disorders and other psychiatric disorders in the offspring. Blood samples were drawn from all groups and PCR analysis was conducted to investigate the polymorphism of interest. Results The children of depressed parents scored higher than the children of control parents in almost all Child Behavior Check List internalizing and externalizing problem parameters. A significantly higher percentage of depressed parents (70%) were found to carry the risk allele (s) compared with control parents (35%) (P = 0.03). A similar, but nonsignificant, pattern of asymmetric allele distribution was also found among the offspring of the two groups (77.3 vs. 50%). Conclusion Parental depression must be recognized as a major risk factor of psychiatric morbidity in children. Greater emphasis should be placed on developing large-scale effective preventive interventions for families with parental depression.


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