Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Candidate Genes For Schizophrenia Identified

Date:
October 23, 2008
Source:
University of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
Researchers have identified three new candidate genes for schizophrenia that may contribute to a better understanding of how the disease evolves.

Schizophrenia is a severe psychiatric disease characterized by disorganized behavior, delusions and hallucinations. Sadly, there is no clear understanding of its cause.

Now, in a collaborative study, UCLA and Dutch researchers have identified three new candidate genes for schizophrenia that may contribute to a better understanding of how the disease evolves.

Reporting in the October issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics, Roel A. Ophoff, an assistant professor with the Center for Neurobehavioral Genetics at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, and his colleagues examined the genetic makeup of 54 Dutch patients diagnosed with deficit schizophrenia, a particularly severe form of the disease that is both chronic and debilitating.

Specifically, they looked at a number of large but rare deletions and duplications in the genome of the patients, known as copy number variants, or CNVs. Scientists suspect that such missing or duplicated segments of DNA could be responsible for increased susceptibility to a number of diseases. In this study, the researchers showed that three of these rare CNVs interrupted genes associated with brain function.

"These genes were not implicated in schizophrenia before," said Ophoff, who holds a joint appointment at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. "So next, we tested these three genes in a large follow-up study of more than 750 general-schizophrenia patients and 700 controls. And what surprised us is that roughly 1 percent of schizophrenia patients harbor these genomic deletions."

Changes in these three genes are rare but seem to dramatically increase the risk of developing schizophrenia, Ophoff said. The identification of these new candidate genes will provide a better insight into the underlying biology of schizophrenia and explain why some individuals are at risk to develop the disease.

"Another important step will be to assess the inheritance patterns of such CNVs," Ophoff said. "Since this is an inherited disease affecting approximately 1 percent of the population, this would be valuable toward establishing the clinical relevance of this important class of genomic variations."

The research was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health and the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development. Other authors included Chiara Sabatti of UCLA and Terry Vrijenhoek, Jacobine E. Buizer-Voskamp, Inge van der Stelt, Eric Strengman, Ad Geurts van Kessel, Han G. Brunner and Joris A. Veltman of the Netherlands, as well as the Netherlands Genetic Risk and Outcome in Psychosis (GROUP) Consortium. The authors report no conflict of interest.

The Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA is an interdisciplinary research and education institute devoted to the understanding of complex human behavior, including the genetic, biological, behavioral and sociocultural underpinnings of normal behavior, and the causes and consequences of neuropsychiatric disorders. In addition to conducting fundamental research, the institute faculty seeks to develop effective treatments for neurological and psychiatric disorders, improve access to mental health services, and shape national health policy regarding neuropsychiatric disorders.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Los Angeles. The original article was written by Mark Wheeler. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Los Angeles. "New Candidate Genes For Schizophrenia Identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081021093948.htm>.
University of California - Los Angeles. (2008, October 23). New Candidate Genes For Schizophrenia Identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081021093948.htm
University of California - Los Angeles. "New Candidate Genes For Schizophrenia Identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081021093948.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Researchers found an improvement in memory and learning function in subjects who received electric pulses to their brains. Video provided by Newsy
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