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Eric J. Nestler, M.D., Ph.D. - Brain & behavior expert on anxiety
September 11, 2013

No. An individual’s risk for a syndrome as complex and variable as depression or anxiety is due to a large number of factors, including genetic, environmental, and presumably epigenetic. Also, depression and anxiety are not as heritable as other forms of mental illness (e.g., schizophrenia, bipolar disorder) and indeed most offspring of people with depression or anxiety avoid these syndromes. Our hope and expectation is that by better understanding the many types of disparate factors that combine to cause depression or anxiety, it will be possible to better identify those at risk and intervene to prevent the illness.

Eric J. Nestler, M.D., Ph.D.
Scientific Council Member
Nash Family Professor of Neuroscience
Chair, Department of Neuroscience
Director, Friedman Brain Institute
Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Schahram Akbarian, M.D., Ph.D. Scientific Council Member 1993, 2000 NARSAD Young Investigator Grantee 1997 Klerman Prizewinner Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience Chief of the Division of Psychiatric Epigenomics Mount Sinai School of Medicine, expert on schizophrenia
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