A step closer to cracking the enigma of schizophrenia’s genetic drivers
Mental Health Schizophrenia Genetic risk

A step closer to cracking the enigma of schizophrenia’s genetic drivers

Jocelyn Tourtellotte
Jocelyn Tourtellotte

In 10 seconds? Scientists were able to pinpoint specific genes and the biological functions they support that are linked to schizophrenia. In the largest genetic study into the disorder, they used new techniques to compare the genomes of over 300,000 people with and without schizophrenia.

OK, what’s the big deal about this study? A prior study was able to find 176 gene variations frequently associated with schizophrenia but did not investigate to what biological processes these changes can be linked. This study yielded 287 locations in the human genome as well as the biological functions affected by changes in these locations. Crucially, the researchers have also determined that specific genes in neurons in the brain play a key role in one's risk of developing the disorder and they have found around 120 genes that could be involved in schizophrenia. Additionally, despite differences in how male and female individuals experience schizophrenia, the study found no significant difference in the genes responsible for predisposition between the groups.


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