Review| Volume 1, ISSUE 4, P229-234, June 1979

Juvenile and late onset forms of depressive disorder: Genetic and biological characterization of bipolar and unipolar illness — A review

      This paper is only available as a PDF. To read, Please Download here.


      The age of onset of depressive illness may have an association with the genetic character and clinical course of the disorder. There are several genetic models of depressive disorder that are based on differences in age of onset. According to a multifactorial model, for example, a late onset would indicate a smaller genetic and greater environmental component. A correlation has been found between positive family history of affective illness and early age of the first episode. The presence or absence of a family history of affective illness has also been found to be distinguished by pharmacology, physiology, symptomatology, and severity. It is therefore recommended, for purposes of diagnosis and treatment, that a family history be gathered for patients with depressive illness.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Maturitas
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Angst J.
        • Perris C.
        Zur Nosologie endogener Depression: Vergleich der Ergebnisse der Untersuchungen.
        Arch. Psychiatr. Nerventkr. 1968; 210: 373-386
        • Leonhard K.
        • Korff I.
        • Schulz H.
        Die Temperamente in den Familien der monopolaren and bipolaren phasischen Psychosen.
        Psychiatr. Neurol. 1962; 143: 416-434
        • Winokur G.
        • Clayton P.J.
        Family history studies. I. Two types of affective disorders separated according to genetic and clinical factors.
        in: Wortis J. Recent advances in biological psychiatry. Plenum Press, New York1967
        • Perris C.A.
        Study of bipolar (manic-depressive) and unipolar recurrent psychoses (I-X).
        Acta Psychiatr. Scand. 1966; : 1-189
        • Buchsbaum M.
        • Goodwin F.K.
        • Murphy D.L.
        • Borge G.
        Average evoked responses in affective disorders.
        Am. J. Psychiatry. 1971; 128: 19-25
        • Dunner D.L.
        • Gershon E.S.
        • Goodwin F.K.
        • Bunney Jr., W.E.
        Excretion of 17-hydroxycorticosteroids in unipolar and bipolar depressed patients.
        Arch. Gen. Psychiatry. 1972; 26: 360-363
        • Cohn C.K.
        • Dunner D.L.
        • Axelrod J.
        Reduced cathecol-o-methyltransferase activity in red blood cells of women with primary affective disorders.
        Science. 1970; 170: 1323-1324
        • Murphy D.L.
        • Weiss R.
        Reduced monoamine oxidase activity in blood platelets from bipolar depressed patients.
        Am. J. Psychiatry. 1972; 128: 1351-1357
        • Nies A.
        • Robinson D.S.
        • Lamborn K.R.
        • Lampert R.P.
        Genetic control of platelet and plasma monoamine oxidase activity.
        Arch. Gen. Psychiatry. 1973; 28: 834-838
        • Robinson D.S.
        • Davis J.M.
        • Nies A.
        • Ravaris D.L.
        • Sylvester D.
        Relations of sex and aging to monoamine oxidase activity in human brain, plasma, and platelets.
        Arch. Gen. Psychiatry. 1971; 24: 536-539
        • Angst J.
        Zur Ätiologie und Nosologie endogener depressiver Psychosen.
        Monogr. Gesamtgeb. Neurol. Psychiatr. 1966; : 112
        • Schulz B.
        Auszahlungen in der Verwandtschaft von nach Erkrankungsalter und Geschlecht gruppierten Manisch-Depressiven.
        Arch. Psychiatr. Nervenkr. 1951; 186: 560-576
        • Hopkinson G.
        A genetic study of affective illness in patients over 50.
        Br. J. Psychiatry. 1964; 110: 244-254
        • Kay B.
        Observations on the natural history and genetics of old age psychoses: A Stockholm material, 1936–1937.
        in: 3rd ed. Proc. R. Soc. Med.52. 1959: 29-32
        • Mendlewicz J.
        • Fieve R.R.
        • Rainer J.D.
        • Fleiss J.L.
        Manic-depressive illness: a comparative study of patients with and without a family history.
        Br. J. Psychiatry. 1972; 120: 523-530
        • Stenstedt A.
        A study in manic-depressive psychosis.
        Acta Psychiatr. Scand. 1952; : 1-111
        • Woodruff R.
        • Pitts Jr., F.N.
        • Winokur G.
        Affective disorders.
        in: II. A comparison of patients with and without a family history of affective disorders. 3rd ed. J. Nerv. Ment. Dis.139. 1964: 49-52
        • Kallmann F.J.
        Genetic principles in manic-depressive psychoses.
        in: Hoch P. Zubin J. Depression. Grune and Stratton, New York1954
        • Winokur G.
        • Clayton P.J.
        • Reich R.
        Manic-depressive illness.
        Mosby, St. Louis1969
        • Mendlewicz J.
        • Fleiss J.L.
        • Fieve R.R.
        Evidence for X-linkage in the transmission of manic-depressive illness.
        J. Am. Med. Assoc. 1972; 222: 1624-1627
        • Mendlewicz J.
        • Fleiss J.L.
        • Fieve R.R.
        Linkage studies in affective disorders: The Xg blood group and manic-depressive illness.
        in: Fieve R. Rosenthal D. Brill H. Genetics and psychopathology. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore1975
        • Mendlewicz J.
        • Rainer J.D.
        Morbidity risk and genetic transmission in manic-depressive illness.
        Am. J. Hum. Genet. 1974; 26: 692-701
        • Winokur G.
        The types of affective disorders.
        J. Nerv. Ment. Dis. 1973; 156: 82-96
        • Stallone F.
        • Shelley E.
        • Mendlewicz J.
        • Fieve R.R.
        The use of lithium in affective disorders: A double blind study of prophylaxis in bipolar illness.
        Am. J. Psychiatry. 1973; 130: 1006-1010