Genetic Link Between Depression and Panic

A recent study conducted at Johns Hopkins University discovered an unexpected genetic link between manic depression and panic disorder. Manic depression and panic disorder might be different manifestations of the same underlying disease, say the researchers. Manic depression – also known as bipolar disorder – is severe and devastating, marked by mood swings from elation to despair. The study team looked at families in which at least one member had bipolar disorder. They found that panic attacks and panic disorder were much higher than expected among the relatives of those with bipolar, although within the same family, one person might be very ill, another only mildly affected, while another relative may suffer depression only.

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