Research Bolsters Genetic Link to Schizophrenia

Scientists discover 80 new genes connected to illness
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2014 3:32 PM CDT
Research Bolsters Genetic Link to Schizophrenia

A massive new study says it has identified more than 80 new genes linked to schizophrenia, a development that scientists hope can eventually lead to better treatment, reports the BBC. The research, led by Cardiff University and involving scientists from 35 different countries, studied 37,000 people with schizophrenia and compared their genetic makeup to 110,000 individuals without the condition. "This really is now cementing most of the genetic data of the world in schizophrenia and putting it all together," says one of the 300 authors of the report, which was published in the journal Nature and cited in the Wall Street Journal.

Scientists previously knew of 30 connected genes. What researchers found was that in people who had schizophrenia, there were "variations across a number of genes, rather than mutations in a number of small key genes," according to the Journal. Suspect genes were involved with the release of brain chemicals such as dopamine and with the immune system, reports USA Today. The findings bolster scientists who believe genetics plays a larger role than previously acknowledged, and subsequent studies are expected to zero in on that. (Read more schizophrenia stories.)

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