Sunday, December 4, 2016

Auditory Hallucinations Linked to MicroRNA

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that causes people to hear voices and be generally paranoid. It's characterized by delusions, hallucinations and other mental inabilities. This illness usually shows up around adolescence or early adulthood and it affects 1.1% of the population. Schizophrenia affects not only the patient but the family, friends and those around as well. Although treatment can relieve symptoms, it can not get rid of them forever. Those who suffer with schizophrenia have to deal with these symptoms for the entirety of their lives.

Using a model mouse, researchers tried to get to the bottom of these voices. The mouse they used mimicked 22q11 deletion syndrome. Those with this syndrome are missing some parts of their chromosome 22. These parts that are missing are linked to problems in the auditory thalamus and thus causing auditory hallucinations. Roughly 20-40 percent of mice with this syndrome end up developing schizophrenia. After a few tests on this mouse, researchers identified microRNAs that could cause auditory hallucinations. If treatment was targeted towards these microRNAs, these symptoms can be greatly reduced.
Being that such a small population of people suffer with schizophrenia, not much is known about treatment. This illness is so impactful and affects people so much and the closer research gets to treating it, the better.


  1. This is a really interesting study! Usually schizophrenia is approached psychologically and treated as such. It's really cool to see researchers looking at it from a genetic view as well. Being able to target microRNAs in order to reduce the symptoms is remarkable for treatment.

  2. It's really cool to see something that is normally tackled in a psychological aspect being taken in a genetic viewpoint. Being a member of one of the families affected by schizophrenia, this makes me very hopeful that there is hope for a cure for it in the future. Or if not a cure, at least better treatments.