Understanding Healthy Brain Function Furthers Progress in Identifying Causes of Schizophrenia

Up to twelve chromosome regions may harbor genes for keeping the brain in good working order, reports a new study by Brain & Behavior Research Foundation NARSAD Grantee David Braff, M.D., and his research team. Because problems with certain jobs done by the brain, such as remembering information, have been linked to schizophrenia, pinpointing the genes that help those jobs get done well may be a backdoor route to finding genes that contribute to the disorder.

Problems with certain brain functions, including those related to attention, memory, verbal learning and the ability to suppress a movement were sometimes associated with certain stretches of DNA (molecules that contain heredity encoding information) along the chromosomes. For example, a person’s ability to suppress an eye movement was associated with a region of chromosome 3.

by David Braff, M.D.

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