Researchers confirm genetic link between depression and common bowel disorders


New research has revealed just how complex the relationship between gut health and mental health can be, with genetic analysis revealing links between peptic ulcers and depression.

Researchers at the University of Queensland looked at the genetic data of half a million people via the UK’s Genetic Sample Biobank.

Researchers have found clear genetic links between bowel disorders and mental health disorders.Credit:File Image

Professor Naomi Wray of UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience said she found a clear link between genetic markers for a higher risk of peptic ulcers and for a higher risk of clinical depression.

“Mental health disorders and peptic ulcer coexist, but one of the key questions is what drives what?

“Using DNA analysis, you can take a closer look, and our analysis suggests that there is definitely a relationship there.”

Peptic ulcers were thought to be caused solely by stress for many years, until Nobel Prize winning work by Australian researchers Barry Marshall and Robin Warren identified a link to the bacteria. H. pylori.

Professor Wray says the new results do not invalidate this work, but demonstrate that there is not just one factor that leads to the manifestation of a disease, and that the actual picture is much more complex.

“The key element that came out of our genetic analysis of peptic ulcer disease is to demonstrate that there are host factors, parts of our genetics, that make some people more sensitive to the bacteria,” he said. she declared.

“And our analysis suggests that there is some sort of relationship between these mental health disorders and peptic ulcer disease.”

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