Gene Protects Cognitive Function in Schizophrenia

Gene Protects Cognitive Function in SchizophreniaA gene has been found in some people with schizophrenia that can help protect cognitive ability.

While it may put individuals at risk for schizophrenia in the first place, schizophrenic patients with the at-risk gene performed better on certain tests of cognitive function than patients with a less risky variant of the same gene.

Dr. James T.R. Walters of the Medical Research Council for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics at Cardifff University in Wales, and his colleagues found preserved memory with a variation in the gene known as the Zinc Finger Protein 804A.

Prior research has implicated the Zinc Finger Protein 804A gene (ZNF804A) as a risk factor for schizophrenia. Alleles are different variations of the same gene, and one allele of the ZNF804A gene seems to be more commonly present in patients with psychiatric diagnoses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. While its exact function remains elusive, some researchers suspect that the ZNF804A gene affects communication in the brain……

Reported by Jessica Ward Jones, MD, MPH Associate News Editor

Dr. Walter’s results can be found in the July issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Submitted by Anna

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