Study offers new clues into schizophrenia's genetic code

The largest genomic study of schizophrenia patients suggests there may be over 100 chromosomal sites implicated in the disorder, but about 80 of them haven't been reported until now.

The study, which comes from researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, reveals that some gene variants responsible for the development of schizophrenia are related to functions like dopamine release in the brain, while others might be associated with things like immune system or heavy smoking.

"Some are very familiar genes expressed in nerve cells, and some are results where you scratch your head and you know you have more work to do" study leader Steven Hyman told USA Today in regards to understanding how certain genes play a role in schizophrenia.

Sequence of events

Researchers noted that the particular chromosomal sites identified in the study may not pose risk for schizophrenia independently, but it could have more to do with how their presence can cause or hasten the disease process in a nearby genetic "region."

So the sequence of events, or how these genetic factors influence one after the other in a linear fashion, is important to uncover with further research.

"These results underscore that genetic programming affects the brain in tiny, incremental ways that can increase the risk for developing schizophrenia," said Thomas Lehner, Ph.D., chief of NIMH's Genomics Research Branch. "They also validate the strategy of examining both common and rare variation to understand this complex disorder."

The study is published in the journal Nature.

Source: USA Today
Image courtesty of samarttiw/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

More Articles

Understanding the pathophysiology of schizophrenia (or, in other words, the physiological...

Scientists have been studying schizophrenia for a long time, trying to determine what...

It is estimated that nearly 1.2% of the population in the U.S. has schizophrenia. The disorder can vary in terms of severity and manageability,...

A diagnosis of schizophrenia can bring about a limitless number of changes...

An estimated 30% of people with schizophrenia have refractory schizophrenia, which means their...

More Articles

More Articles

Understanding the pathophysiology of schizophrenia (or, in other words, the physiological...

Scientists have been studying schizophrenia for a long time, trying to determine what...

It is estimated that nearly 1.2% of the population in the U.S. has schizophrenia. The disorder can vary in terms of severity and manageability,...

A diagnosis of schizophrenia can bring about a limitless number of changes...

An estimated 30% of people with schizophrenia have refractory schizophrenia, which means their...

There are a number of talented musicians who have suffered from schizophrenia at some point in...

While most people can’t fathom purposely hurting themselves, self-injury is not uncommon with certain types of psychiatric disorders. Although it...

Although schizophrenia goes back several thousand years, this most serious of psychiatric disorders was not officially coined “schizophrenia”...

The neurotransmitter serotonin is known to influence a number of important brain functions, including perception, mood, sleep, appetite, cognition...

There are a number of different research methods used in psychology, but one of the most interesting to the layperson is the case study. Case...

The question of whether people with schizophrenia know they are ill is actually quite...

The term "schizophrenic break" refers to an episode of acute psychosis in someone with...

Creatine is a type of acid naturally manufactured by our liver, pancreas and kidneys. One of its primary roles in the body is to provide energy...

No one knows exactly what causes schizophrenia, and there are a number of...

Acute schizophrenia is what most people think of when they think of schizophrenia: varying...