Study reveals genetic secrets behind schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

One of the world’s largest schizophrenia studies ever has pinpointed five new genetic blips linked to the condition, paving the way for new drugs and management strategies, researchers said.

Schizophrenia affects 1 in 100 people, commonly causing delusions, hallucinations and an increased risk of suicide.

Scientists knew that a family history of schizophrenia could predispose subsequent generations to the condition but it was not clear exactly which parts of the human genome were linked to an increased risk.

To find out, the Schizophrenia Psychiatric Genome-Wide Association Study Consortium, which included 190 researchers from 135 institutions worldwide, analysed genetic data from 21,856 individuals and checked their conclusions by studying an additional 29,839 people.

In a paper titled “Genome-wide association study identifies five new schizophrenia loci” published today in the journal Nature Genetics, the researchers said their study found five new genetic variations associated with schizophrenia. They also confirmed several other genetic blips that previous studies had suggested could contribute to the disorder.

By Sunanda Creagh
The Conversation

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