Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study Of Damaged Gene Gives Insight Into Causes Of Mental Illness

Date:
May 3, 2007
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
Scientists have pinpointed how different types of damage to the same gene can cause some people to suffer from schizophrenia while others have major depression. The findings provide further evidence that these illnesses are inherited, and may in the future help doctors pinpoint which patients will respond to different types of treatments.

Scientists have pinpointed how different types of damage to the same gene can cause some people to suffer from schizophrenia while others have major depression.

Related Articles


The findings which are published in the journal Neuron, provide further evidence that these illnesses are inherited, and may in the future help doctors pinpoint which patients will respond to different types of treatments.

Experts from the University of Edinburgh, working with researchers from Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada and RIKEN in Japan, studied two types of damage to a gene (DISC1). Previous research at the University, working with families with a high incidence of mental illness, identified this gene as being linked to schizophrenia, manic depression (bipolar affective disorder) and major depression. The gene was also found to be essential for brain signalling and plays a key role in learning, memory and mood.

To further their findings, experts looked at the behaviour of mice with two types of damage in the gene. The results suggest that one responded better to antipsychotics, used to treat schizophrenia while the other responded better to anti-depressants, used to treat mood disorders.

Prof David Porteous, Chair of Human Molecular Genetics and Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, said: "While the causes of schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder and major depression are unknown, all the evidence points to subtle differences in the way the brain develops and to chemical changes in the brain. Our previous work identified the DISC1 gene as an important risk factor in these types of mental illness.

"By analysing the behaviour of mice, we were able to provide further evidence of the importance of DISC1. We also found remarkable clear cut differences between the different types of damage to the gene and the treatment that was the most effective. By analysing how the brain changes and develops over time we would hope that this would lead to more effective drugs to treat such illnesses."

About one in 50 people worldwide will develop the symptoms of schizophrenia or bipolar affective disorder, with the first signs often appearing in late adolescence or early adulthood. Most cases arise in families with some sort of history of mental illness implying a strong influence of genes. Several different genes have been reported to pre-dispose to schizophrenia but DISC1 is one of the few which has been replicated by several laboratories.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Edinburgh. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "Study Of Damaged Gene Gives Insight Into Causes Of Mental Illness." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070502143813.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2007, May 3). Study Of Damaged Gene Gives Insight Into Causes Of Mental Illness. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070502143813.htm
University of Edinburgh. "Study Of Damaged Gene Gives Insight Into Causes Of Mental Illness." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070502143813.htm (accessed November 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids React to Lammily, The Realistic Barbie Alternative

Kids React to Lammily, The Realistic Barbie Alternative

Buzz60 (Nov. 19, 2014) Artist Nickolay Lamm's Kickstarter-funded Lammily doll, based on his 'What Would Barbie Look Like as a Real Woman' project, is finally available to buy. Jen Markham explains how the doll's realistic proportions are going over with a test group of second-graders who are used to the impossible measurements of Barbie dolls. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trans-Fat Foods Now Linked To Poor Memory

Trans-Fat Foods Now Linked To Poor Memory

Newsy (Nov. 19, 2014) A study presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions shows a link between diets high in trans fats and decreased memory recall. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creating Lifelong Love of Science and Math

Creating Lifelong Love of Science and Math

AP (Nov. 18, 2014) Kelly Mathews is a new mom on a mission to get girls interested in science, technology, engineering and math, and it starts with her own daughter. The Girl Scouts are doing their part, too, by promoting S.T.E.M. through badges and activities. (Nov. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Fun Improves Child Therapy in Poland

3D Fun Improves Child Therapy in Poland

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 17, 2014) Scientists in Poland are helping children with autism and Down's Syndrome better focus on therapeutic exercises by taking them out of their real world environment and into a specially-designed 3D cave in which their imagination can flourish. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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