23andMe to recruit 25k for depression, bipolar disorders study

The biotechnology company 23andMe launched enrollment for a study investigating the underlying genetics of major depressive and bipolar disorders Tuesday.

For the study, 23andMe will collaborate with the nonpartisan think tank Milken Institute and the global pharmaceutical company Lundbeck to recruit 15,000 adults with major depressive disorder and 10,000 adults with bipolar disorder in the United States.

As part of the study, participants will provide a saliva sample for DNA genotyping using the 23andMe Personal Genome Service. They will also complete nine monthly online cognitive assessment sessions and provide survey responses.

23andMe will analyze this data to assess how genetics influence brain processes, such as attention, decision making and visual perception, since recent research suggests depressive and bipolar disorders may be caused by a combination of genetic, biological and environmental factors.

"By studying cognitive function alongside genetics and other environmental variables on a massive scale, we hope to take a significant step forward in the study of depression and bipolar," said Emily Drabant Conley, PhD, vice president of business development at 23andMe.

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