The gene in question MKP-1, was found to be twice as active in brain tissue samples from 21 dead patients who were diagnosed with depression compared to 18 depression free individuals.
The gene is known to cause a blockage in a molecular pathway which helps neurons to survive and function, a process which study leader Professor Ronald Dunman, from Yale University in the U.S believes to be a contributing factor in the development of depression.
In further research, Professor Dunman and his team found that when the gene was deactivated in mice they became more resilient to stress and activating the gene caused them to exhibit symptoms of depression.
Scientists hope that the discovery will lead to the development of drugs which target this gene, proving effective for patients who are resistant to regular anti-depressants.
Many doctors recommend that individuals with depression also use counselling alongside their conventional treatment. If you would like more information about how counselling can help you then please visit our fact sheet here.