Resilience and to a Lesser Extent Waking Salivary Cortisol, but not Serotonin Transporter Polymorphism is a Predictor of Depression

Program: Abstracts - Orals, Featured Poster Presentations, and Posters
Session: MON 142-166-Hypothalamus-Pituitary Development & Biology
Monday, June 17, 2013: 1:45 PM-3:45 PM
Expo Halls ABC (Moscone Center)

Poster Board MON-162
James Robert McFarlane*, Suresh K.A Palanisamy, Amelia Assareh and Christopher Sharpley
University of New England, Australia
Mental health is often neglected particularly in rural and regional populations where support services are minimal or non-existent. In general these populations are more prone to depression and other mood disorders perhaps reflecting the stressors of relative isolation. Stress is clearly implicated in a number of diseases including mental health and elevated cortisol is a recognised biomarker for stress. The ss, ll, sl polymorphisms of the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) has been reported in a number of studies to be a predictor of depression among Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) patients. In this study we recruited a community sample population of 130 healthy adults from regional Australia aged between 18-69 with approximately equal numbers of men and women. We compared 5-HTTLPR polymorphisms determined using a rapid QPCR method to waking salivary cortisol and psychological resilience as predictors of depression. No significant effects were found for genotype, but participants with waking cortisol values greater than the sample median also had significantly higher depression scores than participants whose waking cortisol values were less than the sample median. Similarly, participants with psychological resilience that was above the sample median had significantly lower depression scores than participants whose psychological resilience was lower than the sample median. Thus our study shows cortisol and resilience questionnaires are still a valid marker for depression and stress, however the role of 5-HTTLPR polymorphism needs further study to elucidate its role depression and other mood disorders.

Nothing to Disclose: JRM, SKAP, AA, CS

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Sources of Research Support: Collaborative Research Network grant in Mental Health and Well Being in Rural and Regional Communities 2011-2013.