Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genes Associated With Schizophrenia Evolved Rapidly Due To Selection During Human Evolution

Date:
September 7, 2007
Source:
University of Bath
Summary:
Several genes with strong associations to schizophrenia have evolved rapidly due to selection during human evolution, according to new research. Researchers found a higher prevalence of the influence of so-called positive selection on genes or gene regions known to be associated with the disorder than a comparable control set of non-associated genes, functioning in similar neuronal processes. This is consistent with the theory that positive selection may play a role in the persistence of schizophrenia at a frequency of one per cent in human populations around the world, despite its strong effects on reproductive fitness and its high heritability from generation-to-generation.

Several genes with strong associations to schizophrenia have evolved rapidly due to selection during human evolution, according to new research.

Related Articles


Researchers found a higher prevalence of the influence of so-called positive selection on genes or gene regions known to be associated with the disorder than a comparable control set of non-associated genes, functioning in similar neuronal processes.

This is consistent with the theory that positive selection may play a role in the persistence of schizophrenia at a frequency of one per cent in human populations around the world, despite its strong effects on reproductive fitness and its high heritability from generation-to-generation.

It also provides genetic evidence consistent with the long-standing theory that schizophrenia represents, in part, a maladaptive by-product of adaptive changes during human evolution - possibly to do with aspects of creativity and human cognition.

“The world-wide presence of this disorder at an appreciable frequency, despite its impact on human health and reproductive fitness, is somewhat of a paradox,” said Dr Steve Dorus from the University of Bath, who worked with Dr Bernard Crespi from Simon Fraser University (Canada) and Dr Kyle Summers from East Carolina University (USA) on the research.

“This may be explained by the existing theory that the condition represents, in part, a by-product of adaptive changes during human evolution.

“Our finding that positive evolutionary processes have impacted genes underlying the disorder is consistent with this idea.

“However, the selective forces influencing the evolution of these genes remain unknown.

“Given the complex genetic nature of the condition, selection may be mediated by a diverse array of neurodevelopmental, neurophysiological and psychological mechanisms.

“Schizophrenia has also been associated with creativity throughout recorded history, but whether this link has a genetic basis is certainly not yet clear.”

The researchers analysed the molecular evolution of the 76 genes that have the strongest genetic association with the disorder.

They surveyed human polymorphisms - discrete changes in the human genome that vary between individuals - for very recent selective events within specific human populations.

They also compared genes between mammalian species to identify selection on primate lineages salient to the evolution of humans and the disorder.

The research identified evidence for positive selection on a variety of genes, including three genes that have the best functional or reproducible associations with the disorder: disrupted in schizophrenia (DISC1), dystrobrevin-binding protein 1 (DTNBP1) and neuregulin 1 (NRG1).

“For the first time it is possible to complement our genetic understanding of the disorder with substantial evolutionary and comparative genomic analyses,” said Dr Dorus.

“Decades of intensive research, using association and inheritance studies between affected and non-affected siblings, has resulted in a much clearer understanding of the genetic basis of the disorder.

“Hopefully, a better understanding of the evolution of the substrates underlying the disease will assist in characterizing how they are dysregulated in the disorder.

“Understanding the impact of positive selection may also help refine hypotheses concerning genetic links between schizophrenia and aspects of human creativity and cognition."

The research was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B 5 September 2007.

The research was funded in part by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, East Carolina University and the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of Bath. "Genes Associated With Schizophrenia Evolved Rapidly Due To Selection During Human Evolution." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070904214422.htm>.
University of Bath. (2007, September 7). Genes Associated With Schizophrenia Evolved Rapidly Due To Selection During Human Evolution. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070904214422.htm
University of Bath. "Genes Associated With Schizophrenia Evolved Rapidly Due To Selection During Human Evolution." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070904214422.htm (accessed April 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

85 Killed in Niger by Meningitis Since Start of Year

85 Killed in Niger by Meningitis Since Start of Year

AFP (Apr. 24, 2015) A meningitis outbreak in Niger has killed 85 people since the start of the year prompting authorities to close schools in the capital Niamey until Monday. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
C-Section Births a Trend in Brazil

C-Section Births a Trend in Brazil

AFP (Apr. 24, 2015) More than half of Brazil&apos;s babies are born via cesarean section, as mothers and doctors opt for a faster and less painful experience despite the health risks. Duration: 02:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Anti-Malaria Jab Hope

Anti-Malaria Jab Hope

Reuters - News Video Online (Apr. 24, 2015) The world&apos;s first anti-malaria vaccine could get the go-ahead for use in Africa from October if approved by international regulators. Paul Chapman reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Food Printing: The Meal of the Future?

3D Food Printing: The Meal of the Future?

AP (Apr. 23, 2015) Developers of 3D food printing hope the culinary technology will revolutionize the way we cook and eat. (April 23) 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:

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