Large-Scale Study Finds Genetic Anomaly Behind Schizophrenia

by Paromita Datta published on -

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Existing studies on schizophrenia have focused on the role of genes in the development and their heritability. Now a large-scale study has brought to light the whole genome sequence behind the disease. Published in Nature Communications, the study revealed a rare structural genetic variants that could be responsible for schizophrenia. Previous studies had focused on common genetic variations.

Illustration of a genome

Understanding the genetical secrets behind schizophrenia. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Led by the UNC School of Medicine, this study was undertaken in collaboration with four Swedish universities. The researchers used a method known as whole genome sequencing to analyze the entire genome. The large-scale study examined the genes from 1,165 people with schizophrenia as well as 1,000 controls. This is the largest-known study on the genomes behind schizophrenia.

The team found anomalies or structural variants in the genome that could lead to schizophrenia. These topologically associated domains or TADs are areas in genomes which do not normally interact with neighboring TADs, However, in people with schizophrenia, shifting or breaking of TAD boundaries allows interaction of genes that are uncommon. This study was the first to find the TAD association in the development of schizophrenia. These findings are a valuable clue in understanding schizophrenia and devising an effective remedy.

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About the Author

Paromita Datta covers the latest health and wellness trends for Organic Facts. An ex-journalist who specialized in health and entertainment news, Paromita was responsible for managing a health supplement for The New Indian Express, a leading national daily in India. She has completed her post-graduation in Business Administration from the University of Rajasthan and her diploma in journalism from YMCA, Delhi. She has completed an e-course, Introduction to Food and Health, from Stanford University, US.

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