Thursday, April 11, 2013

5 Disorders Share Genetic Factors, Study Finds

On Wednesday, February 28th, the Cross-Disorder Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium published in the Lancet identified the risk of loci with shared effects on five major psychiatric disorders (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism, major depression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). They began to examine genetic data in 19 countries. Researchers say gene variations are only a small risk of psychiatric disease.

The group studied families and identical twins, and found a few abnormal disruptions of chromosomes that were linked to psychiatric disorders. In one set of twins, one twin had schizophrenia while the other had bipolar disorder. Dr. Jonathan Sebat chief of the Beyster Center for Molecular Genomics of Neuropsychiatric Diseases gave his opinion by saying,
“No one had systematically looked at the common variations…in DNA.” “We didn’t know if this was particularly true for rare mutations or if it would be true for all genetic risk.”

In addition, the new study found four DNA regions that presented a small risk of psychiatric disorders. Researchers haven’t yet discovered the risk of the first two DNA regions. The other two regions are part of calcium channels, which are used when neurons send signals to the brain. This is exciting news because there are drugs on the market that block calcium channels. The problem is that the researchers are not sure if it will work and be safe for the consumers.





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