As someone who deals with depression in my life, I thought this article from Nature Genetics  was very encouraging. I'm sure many of you will be encouraged by the latest findings as well.

Talk about a breakthrough! Scientist say they have now identified regions of DNA associated with depression. According to Dr. Roy Perlis with the Center for Human Genetic Research at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

"Identifying genes that affect risk for a disease is a first step towards understanding the disease biology itself, which gives us targets to aim for in developing new treatments,"

While medical science has come up with some fairly effective drugs to help depression sufferers cope with the disease, these new findings basically mean that new and even more effective treatments may soon be available.

Dr. Perlis also pointed out that this new information confirms, once and for all that depression is a disease of the brain. That's very important for people to understand and confirms what many researchers have suspected all along.

That news should also serve as a sort of confirmation for those of us who deal with depression. The knowledge that depression is not just an attitude or personality flaw will serve to help make people with depression know that it's not their fault that they have depression anymore than it's anyone's fault that they have a cold.

In Doctor Perlis' words:

"More generally, finding genes associated with depression should help make clear that this is a brain disease, which we hope will decrease the stigma still associated with these kinds of illnesses,"

It will be very interesting to see where this breakthrough takes us in the treatment of this disease.

The study was published online Aug. 1 in the journal Nature Genetics.