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.

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 September 21, 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 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