Published On: Sat, Apr 23rd, 2016

How happiness or stress based on your genes



It is involved in one of the major studies on the genes included in human behavior; a research team of more than 190 researchers from 140 institutions in 17 countries has discovered genetic variants linked with our feelings of well-being, despair and neuroticism.

The researchers, though, recommend care when explaining the findings as genetic variants do not establish whether someone grows depressive symptoms, neuroticism or has a poor sense of well-being.

Dr Alexis Frazier-Wood, who is an assistant professor of pediatrics and nutrition at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital, stated that “In this paper, we applied advanced statistical analyses and meta-analyzed or combined, results across a large number of studies which is the most powerful way to conduct this type of genetics research,”

Dr. Frazier-Wood further noted that “We found three genetic variants associated with subjective well-being — how happy a person thinks or feels about his or her life. We also found two genes harboring variants associated with depressive symptoms and 11 genes where variation was associated with neuroticism,”

How people consider and feel regarding their lives relies on numerous factors, involving genes.

Dr. Daniel Benjamin, another researcher of the study who is an associate professor at the University of Southern California Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and corresponding author, stated that “Genetics is only one factor that influences these psychological traits. The environment is at least as important, and it interacts with the genetic effects,”

The detail in this report permits researchers to gaze at probable ways to investigate these states.

Frazier-Wood in a paper presented in the journal Nature Genetics stated that “We can start studying the functions of these genes to begin to understand why biologically some people are more predisposed to feel this way than others,”

About the Author

Sidra Muntaha

- Sidra Tul Muntaha is a journalist (MA-Mass Communication and M.Phil in Mass Communication) based in Lahore. She is working as an editor at fashion, style and entertainment in the section of the Kooza. She writes fashion and entertainment articles for The Kooza News.