AND SHARE GENETIC ROOTS: CHROMOSOMAL HOTSPOT OF IMMUNITY/GENE EXPRESSION REGULATION IMPLICATED
A trio of genome-wide studies, collectively the largest to date, has pinpointed a vast array of genetic variation that cumulatively may account for at least one third of the genetic risk for schizophrenia. Three schizophrenia genetics research consortia, each funded in part by NIMH, report separately on their genome-wide association studies online July 1, 2009, in the journal Nature. One of the studies traced schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, in part, to the same chromosomal neighborhoods. Two consortia shared their results – making possible meta-analyses of a combined sample totaling 8,014 cases and 19,090 controls. All three studies implicate an area of Chromosome 6 (6p22.1), which is known to harbor genes involved in immunity and controlling how and when genes turn on and off. This hotspot of association might help to explain how environmental factors affect risk for schizophrenia.