Glass Half-Full, or Half-Empty? Ask Your Genes
New link made between genes, risk of depression
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2011 5:53 AM CST
People with low amounts of the brain chemical NPY are likelier to see this glass as half full.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – Bad—or, potentially, good—news for pessimists: Some people's negative outlook on life appears to be caused by a genetic condition, according to a new study. Researchers found that people with low levels of the brain chemical NPY are likelier to be pessimistic, to deal poorly with stress, and to suffer from major depression, the Telegraph reports.

People with low levels of NPY were found to have a stronger emotional response to negative stimuli, WebMD reports. The mechanism appears to be independent of other biological causes of depression, say researchers, who hope their findings will help produce more effective therapies. "These are genetic features that can be measured in any person. We hope they can guide us toward assessing an individual's risk for developing depression," the lead researcher says.

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Showing 3 of 12 comments
Feb 8, 2011 3:41 PM CST
Genetics may be to blame. But epigenetics might make the difference between blaming your parents and blaming yourself.
Feb 8, 2011 10:07 AM CST
The current state of a glass in which its contents consist of half water and half air is fully dependent on on the state of the glass prior. If the glass was full prior, then it is now half empty. If it was empty prior, it is now half filled, or full.
Feb 8, 2011 9:26 AM CST
The glass if always full: sometimes theres more air in the cup then liquid. But sometimes theres $hit in the cup and thats when you need to buy a new cup.