Schizophrenia Gene Find Surprises Scientists

Glitches vary from person to person
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2008 6:08 AM CDT
Genetic mutations unique to individual sufferers may be at the root of schizophrenia.   (Shutter Stock)
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(Newser) – Scientists have tracked down the genetic roots of schizophrenia, but in a surprising twist researchers found that the genetic errors to blame often vary from person to person, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The discovery suggests that multiple glitches in the genetic code are behind schizophrenia, with the exact combination unique in every patient.

"The standard dogma is that any complex trait is going to be caused by multiple, common defects," said a co-author of the study, published in the journal Science. "But that's not what we found." The findings challenge much established wisdom on the subject and could lead to sweeping changes in the way schizophrenia is diagnosed and treated. "It certainly shows why we should treat patients as individuals," said a member of the research team.