Genetic Mutations Provide Clues to Schizophrenia

In a study published online today in the journal Nature Genetics, a group of researchers share their finding that de novo mutations (a term for genetic mutations that are present in an individual but not in their parents, meaning the mutation was not inherited) occur more frequently in schizophrenic patients than in individuals without the disease.

This is an important finding, because it suggests that these de novo mutations may play a role in the development of schizophrenia. Studying these genes and mutations could be a new and promising avenue for learning more about schizophrenia's causes and developing new treatments.

Simon Girard, an author of the study, explains, ""Because the mutations are located in many different genes, we can now start to establish genetic networks that would define how these gene mutations predispose to schizophrenia. Most of the genes identified in this study have not been previously linked to schizophrenia, thereby providing new potential therapeutic targets."

Read more: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-07/uom-ngc070711.php

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