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Home Industry News New study identifies possible genetic roots of schizophrenia

New study identifies possible genetic roots of schizophrenia

20th October 2016

Researchers have advanced their understanding of the biological root causes of schizophrenia through the use of cutting-edge technology.

A team from the University of California, Los Angeles has used state-of-the-art 3D chromosome-mapping technology to identify dozens of genes and two major biological pathways that are likely involved in the development of the disorder.

The genes newly linked to schizophrenia in the study include several for brain cell receptors activated by the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, suggesting that changes in the functions of these receptors may play a role in causing schizophrenia.

It was also noted that several genes involved in the early-life burst of brain cell production that give rise to the cerebral cortex of humans may also be involved in the development of the condition, which is characterised by hallucinations, delusions and cognitive problems.

Principal investigator Dr Daniel Geschwind, professor of neurology and psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles, said: "In the near term we're using the findings from this study to help us understand schizophrenia better, but we're also planning to apply this same strategy to identify key genes in the development of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders."

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