Genetic susceptibility to schizophrenia found - Cardiff University
Researchers in the Department of Psychological Medicine
at Cardiff University’s School of Medicine have discovered that
variants of a gene crucial for brain development are associated with
the development of schizophrenia. The research was published in the
journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Previous research has suggested that schizophrenia might be related
to a defect the insulating sheaths that cover nerve cells in the brain.
These sheaths are made of a substance called ‘myelin’.
Professors Michael O’Donovan, Michael Owen and colleagues investigated
genetic susceptibility to schizophrenia by looking at several genes
involved in the development of myelin.
After analysing DNA they found that variants of a particular gene
- the master regulator of the cells that carry out ‘myelination’-
are associated with increased risk of schizophrenia. They also obtained
evidence that the same gene interacts with two other genes active in
this process to increase risk. Their work provides the first evidence
that a disorder of myelination might be fundamental to the disorder.
Professor Mike Owen said:
" New research is now needed to understand in more detail
just how this happens and to determine whether this might be a fruitful
target for new therapies."
Source: Cardiff University, Wales (UK).