Shining a literal light on schizophrenia and other brain disorders

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Genetic changes in signaling pathways in the brain may cause schizophrenia.

Creating an effective treatment for schizophrenia requires a better understanding of its biology, of the genes that cause it. Using technology to illuminate chromosomes, scientists confirmed the underlying genetics of this mental disorder. The identified genetic disruptions occur at a crucial time in brain development.

[U]sing a similar strategy could help researchers identify genes that lead to autism and other brain disorders, said Dr. Daniel Geschwind, principal investigator and a professor of neurology and psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine.

A 2014 study of people with the psychiatric disorder…found 108 distinct locations on the human genome linked to schizophrenia…[However,] the results were still puzzling….

Most of the schizophrenia-linked DNA, discovered in the 2014 study, came into contact with genes known to be crucial to brain development. This confirmed past studies indicating that genes that increase the risk for schizophrenia are “most active during early fetal brain development,” prior to 24 weeks gestation, explained Geschwind.

All told, Geschwind and his team found that the schizophrenia-associated loci make up a small proportion — less than 10% — of the total genome.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Scientists confirm genetics of schizophrenia

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