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Genetic Linkage

Mood Disorders More Common in Children of First-cousin Parents, Study Finds

Having parents who are first cousins doubles the risk of inheriting a single-gene condition, from 2.5 percent to about 5 percent. But it’s harder to quantify risk for psychiatric illnesses because they typically arise from interactions among genes and environmental factors. But now a study from Northern Ireland published in JAMA Psychiatry shows that offspring of cousin-cousin parents are at higher risk for common mood disorders.

The study found that children from these unions face a three-fold increase in the likelihood of taking antidepressants and a two-fold increase in taking antipsychotics. For purposes of the study, taking an antidepressant or antianxiety drug was a stand-in for having a mood disorder and taking an antipsychotic represented conditions with a psychotic component, such as schizophrenia. Read More 
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