Sunday, February 14, 2016

Schizophrenia and Genetics

Schizophrenia can often be a very scary and destructive mental disorder. It is a brain 
disorder characterized by hallucinations, delusions, depression, and trouble focusing in everyday life. Schizophrenia isn't inherited but it tends to run in families once someone acquires the disorder. The cause of schizophrenia is not known like all mental disorders but a recent article has shown a genetic discovery in regards to schizophrenia.

The article states that a  "black box of schizophrenia, pinpointing the genetic root of the disorder," has been discovered. Schizophrenia causes a process in the brain called synaptic pruning which helps speed up cognitive functioning, to go crazy.                               

"Research has found, for instance, that certain brain regions in people with schizophrenia contain fewer synaptic connections, as compared to the brains of people without schizophrenia."

This is a huge step in regards to schizophrenia since not much is known about how the mental disorders comes about or how it comes to fruition in someone. Scientists are taking this with a grain of salt but this can lead to other studies for maybe finding a cure to the disorder or finding new treatments to cope with the disorder. 


  1. It is great that science has come this far to discover a general symptom of schizophrenia (fewer synaptic connections). With this information, this could lead to medications in which somehow cope with the few synaptic connections or maybe eve new therputic techniques.

  2. With my knowledge of schizopheria it is the defciency of the neurotransmitter dopamine. This information could have a correlation with the fewer synaptic connections. Fewer synaptic connections means less dopamine produced ?

  3. While I do not have much experience with schizophrenia, I imagine that there are many different routes to discovering the root of this issue. If it is in fact genetic, I think that prenatal genetic testing would be an asset to expecting parents. The article you shared mentions the late onset of symptoms in schizophrenia so if it is possible to determine the gene linked to the condition, perhaps preventative care could be given to children at risk or carrying the gene to protect their developing brain and prevent synaptic pruning.