A new study conducted by the researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison claims that depression and anxiety could be hereditary. According to the researchers, children are more likely to inherit the genes for anxiety and depression from their parents, if they show the same characteristics.
During the research, the team observed the overactive brain circuitry in 600 young rhesus monkeys. The overactive regions involved three brain areas that pass on from generation to generation. The researchers believe that these three regions could be the cause of anxiety and depression in children.
"Overactivity of these three brain regions are inherited brain alterations that are directly linked to the later life risk to develop anxiety and depression," lead study author Ned Kalin said in a statement.
The researchers claimed that children with overactivity in the identified region are more likely to show symptoms related to extreme anxiety and depression early in life. The Health Site reports that the passing on the genes for temperamental anxiety and depression is common to monkeys and humans.
The research team found during the study that nearly 35 percent of the anxiety-related tendencies could be explained be the family history of the concerned subject. In addition, the researchers found that the genetic transfer was facilitated because of the function of the brain structure and not the size.
Some amount of anxiety is fine, since it helps individuals recognize and overcome danger. However, the researchers say that overactive brain structures might pose a problem since they could result in disorders related to depression and anxiety.
Based on the study results, the researchers hope to further understand the fundamentals of inherited anxiety and accordingly design target-specific treatments.
The complete study findings have been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).