According to the Mayo Clinic, women are nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression as compared to men.
While inherited traits, biological factors, and other personal life circumstances are associated with a higher risk of depression in general, there are specific risk factors that most significantly impact women.
These include puberty, premenstrual problems, pregnancy, postpartum depression, perimenopause, and menopause, as well as life circumstances and culture– such as unequal power and status, work overload, and abuse.
Although, a team of researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai recently conducted a study that revealed that higher depression diagnosis rates among women might not be so closely tied to hormonal changes. Instead, the team’s findings revealed a possible link that lies in RNA.
RNA, also known as ribonucleic acid, is a polymeric molecule that plays a critical role in the coding, decoding, regulation, and expression of genes.
Long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), on the other hand, is known to interact with certain proteins, RNA, and DNA to carry out other forms of gene expression that are not very well understood.
However, previous research has found that FEDORA– one type of lncRNA– might be linked with depression.
So, the researchers set out to understand whether FEDORA might be the answer to why more women suffer from chronic depression.
The team studied the brains of recently deceased people and compared the levels of FEDORA present in women as opposed to men.