Friday, 08 April 2022 20:50

Genome-wide association study clarifies more possible genetic causes of schizophrenia Featured

In an unprecedented international collaboration of scientists from 45 countries led by Charité - University Hospital Berlin and Cardiff University, researchers have taken a step forward in clarifying the genetic causes of schizophrenia.

In a genome-wide association study (GWAS), they analyzed the DNA of 76,755 people and of 243,649 people without schizophrenia. Here, the scientists looked for DNA segments thought to be associated with susceptibility to schizophrenia.

They came up with 287 such regions of the genome, within which they identified 120 specific genes likely to contribute to the mental disorder. In addition, the scientists were able to identify specific nerve cells of the brain as carriers of the genetic risk. The findings also suggest that unusual neuron function affects many areas in the brain, which could explain the various symptoms of schizophrenia.

The researchers hope that conclusions about biological processes can provide potential new therapeutic approaches to this disorder, according to a recent news release.

Original publication:
Trubetskoy V et al (2022). Mapping genomic loci implicates genes and synaptic biology in schizophrenia. Nature. doi: 10.1038/s41586-022-04434-5

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