Sat. May 18th, 2024

In a groundbreaking study, researchers discover new schizophrenia risk genes

The results, according to researchers, deepen our understanding of brain disorders and may suggest new therapy targets.

In a large-scale new study, two recently identified genes have been related to schizophrenia. Additionally, one previously identified gene connected to schizophrenia risk has also been linked to autism. Notably, this is the first study that is aware of it. Also, it examines the risk of schizophrenia in various populations, particularly those with African heritage.

It was discovered that all racial groupings are more susceptible to schizophrenia due to detrimental, uncommon mutations in gene proteins.

It appears a combination of genetic, environmental, and biological alterations in the brain may play a role. The actual causes of schizophrenia are varied, complex, and mostly unknown, as are those of many neurological illnesses.

What is schizophrenia

A serious mental illness that influences thinking, feeling, and behaviour is schizophrenia. Statistics show that it typically begins in late adolescence or early adulthood. It affects 7 in 1,000 persons, and reduces life expectancy by nearly 15 years.

The signs include delusional thinking and behaviour, hearing or seeing things that aren’t there, believing in things that aren’t real. Patients also lack motivation. Both the person experiencing the symptoms and others around them may find them to be quite upsetting.

Schizophrenia is effectively treated for many people. However, not everyone responds to the present treatments, symptoms and side effects differ, and additional research is required.

Those who have schizophrenia are more likely to have rare protein-truncating variations (PTVs) in ten different genes than those who don’t. PTVs are DNA code alterations that can cause a gene to create a protein devoid of necessary components. It will impair the protein’s ability to perform its function.

New risk genes were found by the scientists

Even though schizophrenia is widespread around the world, prior study, was restricted to European people.

The team used a meta-analysis that comprised 35,828 cases and 107,877 controls from previously published datasets to arrive at their conclusions.

The researchers used targeted gene sequencing on a subset of carefully chosen genes from this data. This included 11,580 individuals with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorders and 10,555 individuals without a known psychiatric disorder. The study’s gene participants were not linked to one another, and 40% were non-Europeans. A meta-analysis can aid researchers in spotting similarities or discrepancies in the results of several studies. Additionally, it offers a more precise estimate of the effect size. They did this by combining data from numerous studies that have looked at the same phenomenon.

In the most recent study, two novel risk genes—SRRM2 and AKAP11—were discovered. This was done by contrasting the DNA sequences of schizophrenia patients with those of healthy individuals from various ethnicities. PCLO, a third gene discovered in the study. It was previously associated with schizophrenia, but it is now known that it also raises the chance of autism.

This expands on what is previously known about how some neurological diseases share a hereditary background.

The clinical consequences of these recently found genes on particular symptoms or behaviours of schizophrenia will be further investigated. The researchers hope to find novel treatments for them.

By Editor

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