Genetic Links Found for Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder

In one of the largest schizophrenia genetics studies undertaken to date, researchers have identified five new DNA regions linked to the psychiatric disorder and found a genetic overlap between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. A second study on bipolar disorder confirmed a link between bipolar and a gene associated with schizophrenia, and identified a previously unknown gene variant.

Both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are known to run in families, suggesting that genetics plays a significant role in the development of the disorders. The results of numerous studies have led scientists to believe that no single gene is responsible for either disorder - rather, the genetic component of disorders like schizophrenia is probably the result of dozens of DNA variants.

These two independent studies, conducted by scientists from around the world, looked at tens of thousands of patients in order to identify genetic variations common to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Their findings are another step in the continued search for better, more target treatments for people with the disorders, as well as possible tests to measure a person's risk of developing them.

The studies were published today in the journal Nature Genetics, and more can be read about them here: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gnUyHW9Izz-EmwjZ4Sp1h...

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