Discovered gene that plays an important role in schizophrenia

“Previous research has shown a link between schizophrenia and many DNA sequence changes, but has rarely been able to link the findings to specific genes,” said Fanous at the University of Arizona School of Medicine – Phoenix said.

“We have been able to link many of them to specific genes, a necessary step in the difficult journey to understand the causes of this disorder and identify new treatments.”

Research on schizophrenia

Dr. Fanous contributed to research as a member of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, which includes hundreds of researchers across 45 countries.

Research has found an ever greater number of genetic links to schizophrenia, in 287 different regions of the genome, the blueprint of the human body’s DNA.

The study is the largest genome-wide association project to date, and the team identified a “significant increase” in the number of genomic regions associated with schizophrenia. In these areas, they then used advanced methods to identify 120 genes likely to contribute to the disorder.

Although there are a large number of genetic variants associated with schizophrenia, research shows they are concentrated in genes expressed in neurons, pointing to these cells as important sites. most of the disease. The finding also suggests that the abnormal function of neurons in schizophrenia affects multiple brain regions, which may explain its diverse symptoms that may include hallucinations, delusions, and delusions. problems with thinking clearly.

More than 7,000 people of African-American or Latino ancestry were included, which the researchers say is a small step toward ensuring advances made in genetic research can be beneficial. useful to people outside of European ancestry.

Schizophrenia: Genetic insights

Dr Fanous said: “To better understand the complexity of the genome and the mutations that lead to psychiatric disorders, it is very important that we leverage the power of larger, multi-dimensional data sets. more ethnically diverse”. “We encourage people of all ancestry to participate in genetic studies and help uncover the genetic causes of these diseases.” Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that more than 50% of Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lives. Serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, affects 1 in 25 Americans.

“College of Medicine – Phoenix is ​​building a transformative research ecosystem in neuroscience and mental health to serve serving the needs of the community in Arizona. “We are incredibly proud to have Dr. Fanous’s leading genetics and genomics research initiatives, in partnership with the Phoenix VA Healthcare System, to identify new therapies that will deliver personalized care for patients.”

This global study, led by Cardiff University, sheds the most powerful light on the genetic basis of schizophrenia.

Source: Eurekalert

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