Genetic Mutation Studies Shed New Light On Schizophrenia

 – January 22, 2014  –– 

People with schizophrenia have genetic mutations that cluster in specific proteins key to the workings of the brain, according to research that suggests a fresh way to look at the illness and links it to other brain disorders such as autism. In two research papers published in the Journal Nature, which together made up the largest genetic study of its kind, scientists analyzed new or "de novo" gene mutations in people with schizophrenia and found they tend to disrupt sets of proteins which have related functions in the brain. Schizophrenia is one of the most common serious psychiatric illnesses, affecting around 1 in 100 people worldwide. Scientists are not clear exactly what causes it, but believe it could be a combination of a genetic predisposition to the condition as well as environmental factors. Working with teams from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, from Harvard and from Britain's Cambridge University, researchers examined DNA blood samples from 623 schizophrenia patients and their parents.
- Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
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