Parents pass on depression and anxiety


It is a well known fact that physical health issues can be inherited and doctors and health care providers[i] are constantly urging patients to be familiar with the medical history of their family. A recent research even found that mental illnesses are inheritable and confirmed that parents who suffer from mental illness[ii]–including depression and anxiety– have children who are genetically predisposed to[iii] developing the same mental illness.
In the study published in ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences‘, experts concluded that children can inherit over-active brain circuits[iv] which link three parts of the brain, making them more susceptible to[v] developing depression and anxiety disorders.
The study was able to pinpoint[vi] the three regions of the brain responsible for transmitting anxiety from a parent to a child: the amygdala[vii], the limbic brain fear centre[viii]; and the prefrontal cortex[ix], which humans use for higher-level reasoning[x].
Scientists believe that high levels of chronic stress have increased in our society, particularly in recent decades. This spike[xi] could potentially set up the next generation to experience mental health problems in epidemic proportions[xii].

* Vocab:
[i] health care provider = caregiver
[ii] mental illness: mental health disorders.
[iii] predisposed to something/ doing something: be likely to be contracted or affected by.
[iv] brain circuits: a kind of map that connecting lots of interconnected neurons together.
[v] be susceptible to: be likely to be affected or influenced.
[vi] pinpoint: describe something precisely, or show the exact position or time of things that had happened.
[vii] amygdala /əˈmɪɡdələ/: almond-shaped neurons. 
[viii] prefrontal cortex: cortex covering front part of lobe.
[ix] higher-level reasoning: high level in problem solving.
[x] spike: a sudden increase.
[xi] experience something in epidemic proportions = to reach epidemic proportions
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