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Genetic Link for Teen Anxiety, Depression and Insomnia

Genetic Link for Teen Anxiety, Depression and InsomniaThe genes that play a role in adolescent insomnia are the same as those involved in depression and anxiety, according to a research abstract that will be presented at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

Results of the study indicate that insomnia as a diagnosis has a moderate heritability in 8- to 16-year-olds, which is consistent with past studies of insomnia symptoms in adults. Significant genetic effects shared between insomnia, depression and anxiety suggests that overlapping genetic mechanisms exist to link the disorders.

According to lead author Phillip Gehrman, Ph.D, assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine, researchers involved in the study were surprised that they did not find sleep-specific genetic effects.

“Monozygotic twins did not have higher rates of insomnia. However, if one monozygotic twin had insomnia, their twin was more likely to have insomnia than if they were dizygotic twins.”

The sequential cohort study included data from 749 monozygotic twin pairs and 687 dizygotic twin pairs between the age of 8 and 17 and their parents. Mean age was 11.9. Twins and their parents completed the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Assessment (CAPA), and DSM-III-R criteria was used to assess insomnia, depression and anxiety. Criteria for insomnia were met by 19.5 percent of the sample.

Findings of the study suggest that adolescents who are suffering from anxiety and depression should also be screened for insomnia.

More information about children and sleep is available from the AASM at http://www.sleepeducation.com/Topic.aspx?id=8.

Source: American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Genetic Link for Teen Anxiety, Depression and Insomnia

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Genetic Link for Teen Anxiety, Depression and Insomnia. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 25, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2009/06/09/genetic-link-for-teen-anxiety-depression-and-insomnia/6388.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.