Which patient will feel down, which will be happy? The need to study the genetic disposition of emotional states

Sprangers, Mirjam A. G., Bartels, Meike, Veenhoven, Ruut, Baas, Frank, Martin, Nicholas G., Mosing, Miriam, Movsas, Benjamin, Ropka, Mary E., Shinozaki, Gen, Swaab, Dick and The GENEQOL Consortium (2010) Which patient will feel down, which will be happy? The need to study the genetic disposition of emotional states. Quality of Life Research, 19 10: 1429-1437. doi:10.1007/s11136-010-9652-2

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Author Sprangers, Mirjam A. G.
Bartels, Meike
Veenhoven, Ruut
Baas, Frank
Martin, Nicholas G.
Mosing, Miriam
Movsas, Benjamin
Ropka, Mary E.
Shinozaki, Gen
Swaab, Dick
The GENEQOL Consortium
Title Which patient will feel down, which will be happy? The need to study the genetic disposition of emotional states
Journal name Quality of Life Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0962-9343
Publication date 2010-12
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s11136-010-9652-2
Volume 19
Issue 10
Start page 1429
End page 1437
Total pages 9
Editor Carolyn E. Schwartz
Dennis A. Revicki
Place of publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Publisher Springer Netherlands
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Purpose: In quality-of-life (QL) research, the genetic susceptibility of negative and positive emotions is frequently ignored, taken for granted, or treated as noise. The objectives are to describe: (1) the major findings of studies addressing the heritable and environmental causes of variation in negative and positive emotional states and (2) the major biological pathways of and genetic variants involved in these emotional states.

Methods: Literature overview.

Results: The heritability estimates for anxiety and depression are 30–40%. Related traits as neuroticism and loneliness are also highly heritable. The hypothalamo–pituitary–adrenal axis is the ‘final common pathway’ for most depressive symptoms. The many findings of investigated genes are promising but not definitive. Heritability estimates of positive emotional states range between 40 and 50%. Life satisfaction and mental health share common genetic factors with optimism and self-esteem. The prefrontal cortex is a candidate brain area for positive emotional states. Biological and genetic research into positive emotional states is scarce.

Conclusion: Genetically informative studies may provide insights into a wide variety of complex questions that traditional QL studies cannot deliver. This insight in turn will help us to design more effective supportive programs that could moderate the outcomes of genetically based predispositions.
© The Author(s) 2010. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com
Keyword Review
Positive emotional states
Negative emotional states
Biological pathways
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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Created: Tue, 29 Mar 2011, 13:54:54 EST by Debbie Banks on behalf of Medicine - Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital