Navigation Links
Interaction between gene variants may alter brain function in schizophrenia
Date:11/7/2008

A collaborative study led by investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) is giving what may be the first look at how interactions between genes underlie a key symptom of schizophrenia, impaired working memory. Functional imaging studies reveal how a combination of common variants in two genes is associated with reduced activity of important brain structures in schizophrenia patients but not in normal controls. The report has been released online in the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Schizophrenia is a highly genetic disorder, but we are learning that its genetics are not straightforward. In most cases potential risk genes appear to have very small effects on symptoms, making it difficult to attribute clinical findings to particular genes," says Joshua Roffman, MD, of the MGH Department of Psychiatry, the study's lead author. "To amplify some of these subtle effects, we and others are looking how the genes affect brain function, rather than just behavior."

The team which included investigators from the University of New Mexico, University of Iowa and University of Minnesota through the MIND Clinical Imaging Consortium used functional MRI to scan an area of the prefrontal cortex known to be critical to working memory in 79 schizophrenia patients and 75 healthy controls as they completed a memory task. Levels of cortical activity were then analyzed for any association with common variants in two genes: MTHFR, which regulates folate metabolism and has been associated with schizophrenia risk, and COMT, which is involved with dopamine processing during working memory.

Although the schizophrenia-associated variant of MTHFR was found in both patients and controls, when the working memory task become more difficult, weaker cortical function associated with that variant was seen only in the schizophrenia patients, not in controls. While variations in COMT did not influence cortical activation patterns on their own, the combined effects of both genes did make a difference. The reduction in cortical function seen in patients with the schizophrenia-associated MTHFR variant was even more pronounced in patients who also had a COMT variant previously associated with less efficient working-memory-related brain activity.

"Based on the known effects of these alleles on brain biochemistry, it is likely that our results reflect cumulative impacts of the gene variants on dopamine signaling, particularly in the prefrontal cortex. These findings may help us to identify patients more likely to benefit from new treatments targeting the dopamine and folate systems," Roffman says. "We are hopeful that this approach will catalyze the development of individualized treatment regimens, since it will allow us to examine the effects of treatment-related genes on brain function using a much smaller groups of study participants."


'/>"/>

Contact: Sue McGreevey
smcgreevey@partners.org
617-724-2764
Massachusetts General Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Interaction of just 2 genes governs coloration patterns in mice
2. Hidden interactions between predators and prey: evolution causes cryptic dynamics in ecology
3. Skin oil -- ozone interactions worsen air quality in airplanes
4. Keck Foundation funds study of biological interactions with nanomaterials
5. Odd protein interaction guides development of olfactory system
6. New technology illuminates protein interactions in living cells
7. Rong Li Lab reports protein interactions of MAP kinase signaling pathway
8. New Argonne study may shed light on protein-drug interactions
9. Stowers Proteomics Center devises method for assigning probabilities to human protein interactions
10. Workshop assesses interactions between climate, forests and land use in the Amazon Basin
11. ESF conference probes waters mysterious interactions at molecular level
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/6/2017)... LONDON , April 6, 2017 ... Control, RFID, ANPR, Document Readers, by End-Use (Transportation & ... Energy Facility, Oil, Gas & Fossil Generation Facility, Nuclear ... Healthcare, Educational, Other) Are you looking for ... Authentication sector? ...
(Date:4/4/2017)...   EyeLock LLC , a leader of iris-based ... Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued U.S. Patent ... an iris image with a face image acquired in ... 45 th issued patent. "The ... the multi-modal biometric capabilities that have recently come to ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... Trends, opportunities and forecast in this market ... (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, facial recognition, hand geometry, vein ... use industry (government and law enforcement, commercial and retail, ... others), and by region ( North America ... Pacific , and the Rest of the World) ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... 21, 2017 , ... RMC Pharmaceutical Solutions, Inc. announces the ... to manage the new site. , Tim has 25 years of pharmaceutical experience, ... role as the Director of Manufacturing and Supplier Quality Assessment. This group ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... , ... June 22, 2017 , ... ... network RegMedNet has produced a Spotlight series on “Cell ... reviews and perspectives by leading experts on the unique regulatory challenges of stem ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is pleased to announce that its Charm Amphenicol (AMPH) ... a screening test at dairies and farms for raw commingled cow milk. The test ... Lite system. These systems are a combination incubator and reader in one. , “The ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... , June 20, 2017  Kibow Biotech Inc., ... to announce the issuance of a new patent covering ... hyperuricemia by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on ... winner of the Buzz of Bio award in 2014 ... akin to developing non-drug approaches to chronic disease. Renadyl™, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: