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Home Industry News Schizophrenics ‘more likely’ to have genetic differences

Schizophrenics ‘more likely’ to have genetic differences

28th March 2008

Scientists have found that people with schizophrenia are more likely to have rare genetic deletions and duplications than those without the condition.

These differences are thought to disrupt the developing brain and were found in 15 per cent of adults with schizophrenia and 20 per cent of children and adolescents with the illness.

This compares to five per cent of healthy people.

Writing in the journal Science today, the team of US researchers says the findings will help to lead to the development of new treatments more specifically targeted to disrupted genetic pathways.

They uncovered the genetic differences after studying DNA from 150 people with schizophrenia and 268 healthy individuals.

“This is an important new finding in the genetics of schizophrenia,” said NIMH Director Dr Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute for Mental Health, which partly funded the studies.

“Identifying genes prone to harbouring these mutations in brain development pathways holds promise for treatment and prevention of schizophrenia, as well as a wide range of other neurodevelopmental brain disorders.”

Schizophrenia is a debilitating psychiatric disorder that affects about one per cent of the population.

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