Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Similar Genetic Origins Possible For Schizophrenia And Bipolar Disorder; Findings May Lead To Childhood Screening, Early Treatment

Date:
September 10, 2003
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Summary:
A study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, University of Cambridge and the Stanley Medical Research Institute appears to offer the first hard evidence that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, severe psychoses that affect 2 percent of the population, may have similar genetic roots.

A study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, University of Cambridge and the Stanley Medical Research Institute appears to offer the first hard evidence that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, severe psychoses that affect 2 percent of the population, may have similar genetic roots.

The study's findings, reported in the Sept. 6 issue of The Lancet, trace the disorders to reduced expression of the genes, known as oligodendrocytes, responsible for myelin development in brain cells. Composed mostly of fats and proteins, myelin sheaths insulate nerve cells, enabling them to safely conduct electric signals between the brain and other parts of the body.

"Patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder differ in terms of their presentation and clinical course," says the study's co-author, Robert Yolken, M.D., a neurovirologist at the Children's Center.

"However, there is some overlap in terms of symptoms and there are medications that have been used for the treatment of both disorders. Our findings suggest that there are similar mechanisms involved in both disorders and that they may be more closely related than previously thought."

In the study, researchers compared expression of myelin-associated genes in the preserved brains of 15 people with schizophrenia, 15 with manic-depressive illness (bipolar disorder), and 15 from a control group of individuals with neither disorder.

"The expression profiles of most known oligodendrocyte-specific and myelin-associated genes were greatly reduced, and several transcription factors known to coordinate myelin gene expression showed corresponding changes," says Yolken. "These results provide strong evidence for oligodendrocyte and myelin dysfunction in patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder."

Yolken says the reason for this dysfunction is not currently known, but may be related, in some cases, to infections of the central nervous system or other environmental issues. This possibility is consistent with previous studies which indicate that infections occurring early in infancy may be a risk factor for the development of schizophrenia and biopolar disorder later in life.

Because symptoms of both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder typically emerge only in late adolescence or early adulthood, Yolken says this current research may someday help physicians screen children whose family histories put them at potential risk for developing these disorders, and treat them before they exhibit symptoms.

"By looking for abnormalities in myelin, we might be able to identify children likely to develop these disorders as adults and begin treatment before symptoms become severe and debilitating," Yolken said.

Most of the laboratory work was conducted in the laboratory of Sabine Bahn at the Babraham Institute of the University of Cambridge. Additional authors of the study were Dmitri Tkachev, Michael L. Mimmack, and Margaret M. Ryan from the University of Cambridge and the Babraham Institute; Peter B. Jones from the University of Cambridge; Matt Wayland, Tom Freeman and Michael Starkey from the U.K. Human Genome Mapping Project Resource Centre; and Maree J. Webster from the Stanley Laboratory of Brain Research, Bethesda, MD.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Similar Genetic Origins Possible For Schizophrenia And Bipolar Disorder; Findings May Lead To Childhood Screening, Early Treatment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 September 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030910072122.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (2003, September 10). Similar Genetic Origins Possible For Schizophrenia And Bipolar Disorder; Findings May Lead To Childhood Screening, Early Treatment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030910072122.htm
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Similar Genetic Origins Possible For Schizophrenia And Bipolar Disorder; Findings May Lead To Childhood Screening, Early Treatment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030910072122.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins