‘Eighty new genes tied to schizophrenia’


Researchers have pinpointed over 80 genes that could be associated with the risk of developing the mental disorder, schizophrenia.

As the world’s largest genetic study of the disease, the recent investigation has led the researchers to a new approach to the illness.

Scientists examined the genetic make-up of more than 37,000 people with schizophrenia and some 110,000 people without the disease in 35 countries across the world, reported in the journal Nature.

The study led the researchers to identify some 83 genes that make people more susceptible to schizophrenia.

Many of these genes appeared to be involved in the relay of chemical messages around the brain while others are known to be involved in the immune system, affecting the body’s natural armory against disease.

“For many years it has been difficult to develop new lines of treatment for schizophrenia, hampered by a poor understanding of the biology of disease,” said the study leader professor Michael O’Donovan of Cardiff University in the UK.

“Finding a whole new bunch of genetic associations opens a window for well-informed experiments to unlock the biology of this condition and we hope ultimately new treatments,” he also explained.

“This study puts psychiatry into the same category as other parts of medicine,” Professor David Curtis of University College London commented on the research.

Schizophrenia is common serious mental disease that affects one in every 100 people during their lifetime. A tenth of people with schizophrenia also have a parent with the condition.

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