Intended for healthcare professionals


Cognitive test can predict risk of mental illness in teenagers, say scientists

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 29 November 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e8109
  1. Krishna Chinthapalli
  1. 1BMJ

Adolescents with a particular genetic variant and a history of an abusive family life are worse at judging emotions and at an increased risk of developing depression and anxiety, says new research.1

The University of Cambridge psychiatrists who conducted the research interviewed 238 teenagers, then conducted cognitive tests and looked at variations in a gene for serotonin transport, 5-HTTLPR. A shorter variant of this gene, the SS allele, is present in 18% of the population and is known to increase the risk of depression in adults with a history of adverse social …

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