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Vulnerable ‘Teen Gene’ May Sway Course of Mental Illness


Vulnerable ‘Teen Gene’ May Sway Course of Mental Illness
Psych Central
December 31, 2013

Scientists have found that a particular gene, known as DCC, is responsible for dopamine connectivity in the brain’s prefrontal cortex during adolescence. This gene is altered by experiences that take place during the teen years and may greatly affect the chances of developing major mental illness. “We know that the DCC gene can be altered by experiences during adolescence,” said Cecilia Flores, Ph.D., senior author on the study and professor at McGill’s Department of Psychiatry. “This already gives us hope, because therapy, including social support, is itself a type of experience which might modify the function of the DCC gene during this critical time and perhaps reduce vulnerability to an illness.”

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Keywords: teens, gene, mental, illness, study

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