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Advances in the field of schizophrenia research: New genetic factors identified
Date:7/30/2008

sections of DNA with at least 100,000 building blocks that vary among different people particularly with respect to the number of copies found in the person. The scientists were able to identify three especially important CNVs, one of which is found on chromosome 1 and the other two on chromosome 15, respectively. These CNVs proved relevant to the risk of developing schizophrenia and other related psychoses. The second study examined what are known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). These are the smallest possible genome variations that affect the individual building blocks within the entire genome. The researchers were able to identify several DNA locations where SNP variations that lead to an increased risk of developing a psychosis such as schizophrenia occur.

Certain SNPs and CNVs associated with schizophrenia had already been discovered prior. However, these studies were only based on the genetic data of a relatively small number of persons. In contrast, the newly published studies were based on the data of thousands of persons. "Altogether, a great number of institutes took part in both studies," reports Rujescu. "We would never have been able to achieve the enormous sample size otherwise and were therefore able to find associations between the genetic variations and the illnesswithout regional or national differences. What is also particularly interesting here is that there are clearly different mechanisms that come into play. For example, we have found rare genetic variations that have a major influence, but we have also found frequent genetic variations that have only a minor effect on the disease risk."


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Contact: Luise Dirscherl
dirscherl@lmu.de
49-892-180-2706
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitt Mnchen
Source:Eurekalert

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