WEB DESK: You inherit more than what you think from your mothers. A study points out that mothers are more likely to pass on traits of depression to their daughters than their sons.
A group of researchers from the University of California, San Francisco has discovered that the corticolimbic system of the brain, which helps in regulating our emotions and is related to the revelation of depressive symptoms in a person – is most likely to be passed on to a daughter from the mother rather than mother to the son or father to the offspring.
The study was conducted on 35 ‘healthy’ families by lead author Fumiko Hoeft, who is also the associate professor at the University of California, and her team.
They gathered MRI brain scans of all the members in each family where none of them had a history of depression or had been diagnosed with it.
They found a prominent connection between the gray matter volume in the corticolimbic system of a mother-daughter duo than any other parent-offspring pairing.
Hoeft said that the study showed that genetics are more complicated than expected. She added : “We joke about inheriting stubbornness or organization—but we’ve never actually seen that in human brain networks before. [This research] was a proof of impact, of using a new design that has significant potential.”
Intergenerational transmission relationships are frequently used to describe behaviors involving older and younger people in society at large.
However, the researchers have stressed that although the study does throw light on intergenerational transmission patterns but in no way does it strike off other responsible factors for depression like prenatal, postnatal or genetic, or some rare combinations of the three.
It still remains a mystery how ‘nurture’ plays a role in all of this.