The strongest known recurrent genetic cause of schizophrenia impairs communications between the brain’s decision-making and memory hubs, resulting in working memory deficits, according to a NIMH-funded study in mice. Researchers have suspected such a brain connectivity disturbance in schizophrenia for more than a century, and the NIH has launched a new initiative on the brain’s functional circuitry, or connectome. Although the disorder is thought to be 70 percent heritable, its genetics are dauntingly complex, except in certain rare cases. The study is reported in the April 1, 2010 issue of the journal Nature.
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