Researchers discover risk genes for schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder that begins in late adolescence or early adulthood and affects approximately one in every 300 people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Explains Professor Dr. Stefan Rybke, Head of the Laboratory of Statistical Genetics at the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the Charité Mitte in Berlin.

To change that, the research team extensively analyzed the DNA of 76,755 people with schizophrenia and 243,649 people without schizophrenia in 45 countries. To do this, they searched, among other things, for sections of DNA associated with schizophrenia, that is, associated with infection with this disease. They found genetic associations with schizophrenia in 287 different regions of the genome. Previous studies have so far identified 100 regions. Using modern methods of analysis within these regions, they then discovered 120 specific genes likely to contribute to mental disorder.

With their findings, scientists hope to gain a better understanding of the origins of schizophrenia and use that to develop innovative treatments for this serious mental illness in the future. Symptoms of schizophrenia include disturbances in thinking and perception, lack of concentration, hallucinations, delusions, and lethargy. Clinicians assume that the complex disease arises from the interaction of several factors, which include neurobiological, psychological and social components as well as genetic predisposition.

Source: DOI 10.1038 / s41586-022-04434-5

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