Denisovan DNA may increase risk of depression, schizophrenia, study suggests

Gene variants inherited from one of our closest extinct relatives, the Denisovans, may make carriers more likely to develop neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression and schizophrenia, a new study suggests.

Modern humans are believed to have migrated out of Africa around 60,000 years ago and then interbred with Denisovans in Asia. As a result, traces of Denisovan DNA can be found within the genomes of some people today: About 4% to 6% of modern New Guinean and Bougainville Islander DNA is Denisovan, as well as about 0.2% of mainland Asians and Indigenous American DNA.

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