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Identifying ‘happy gene’ could make diagnosing therapy easier

Scientists from Essex University believe they have identified a ‘happy gene’ that makes people have a more positive and bright outlook on life. The researchers discovered evidence that part of our DNA makes us naturally more optimistic or negative about what goes on in the world.

The study, which was led by Professor Elaine Fox, researched the DNA sample of 100 volunteers and used groundbreaking computer therapy to test their responses to a number of highly emotive images.

The research team then measured how the assistant’s genes transported the mood chemical, serotonin, around their bodies. People who were found to have short versions of the gene had stronger reactions, in a positive and negative way. However, the volunteers that had a longer form of the gene expressed less of a reaction.

Lead researcher, Professor Elaine Fox said, “Those with the long version often fare best in fairly benign conditions, but they might not gain so much from a good experience. When times are really bad or really good, those with the highly reactive short genotype either go under or really benefit.”

Psychologist Rick Norris believes that being a pessimistic person can make people more risk-averse, unhealthier and less successful. Children that are born to parents that are pessimists and have a genetic tendency to depression are often hit with a double-whammy, making the odds of them enjoying success in later life stacked against them.

However, everyone is dealt happiness and sadness in their life and it is down to the individual how they deal with it.

Through identifying this ‘happy gene’, it is hoped that it can be used with the treatment of depression and trauma as the correct therapy will be known and used to make all the difference to that person’s healing.

View the original Express article here.  

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Emma Hilton

Written by Emma Hilton

Written by Emma Hilton

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