Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Fadwa Al Mughairbi

Second Advisor

Dr. Zahir Vally

Third Advisor

Dr. Abdalla Hamid


This study focuses on exploring the expression of genes associated with depressive and anxiety disorders (AD) among depressed individuals. Anxiety and depression are well known to co-occur with each other. Growing research in the field of genetics has indicated moderate familial aggregation for these disorders. The aim of this study is to analyze gene expression among a depressed population residing in the UAE. The genes were chosen to be studied (PPARGC1A, CAMKMT, HSD11B1, SLC6A4, and MAOA) have previously been linked to depression and anxiety in other populations. The study employed a case-control design, where gene expression in blood samples of the depressed group (29 participants) was compared with a control group (30 participants). Initial screening of depression levels for all participants was done using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Patient Health Questionnaire – 9 (PHQ9), and formal diagnosis for participants in the depression group was given by psychiatrists using ICD-10 criteria. Results indicate that the expression of PPARGC1A gene is significantly lower among the depressed group. These results indicate a novel association of PPARGC1A with depression and open several possibilities for further research to study its role as a protective factor against developing depression.