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Schizophrenia genetic networks identified; Connection to autism found
Date:11/11/2012

cover all of the processes and molecular pathways involved in schizophrenia and related disorders, more gene searches are clearly necessary," said Dr. Vitkup.

Until recently, the hunt for disease genes was focused primarily on analyses of common genetic mutations, using so-called genome-wide association studies (GWAS). But according to Drs. Vitkup, Karayiorgou, and Gogos, a complementary, possibly less expensive, approach may be more fruitful. "By looking at individuals with schizophrenia who are born into families with no history of the disorder," Dr. Vitkup said, "we can identify de novo mutations that are likely to have caused their disorder."

Drs. Karayiorgou and Gogos recently used this approach to uncover many dozens of new schizophrenia mutations from several hundred families; nearly every mutation was unique to one patient.

"Our study demonstrates that through network-based analyses of rare de novo mutations, it is possible to implicate relevant molecular processes," said Dr. Vitkup. "Applying similar methods to larger cohorts of patients, we should be able to delineate all of the pathways and molecular processes underlying complex psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia."


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Contact: Karin Eskenazi
ket2116@columbia.edu
212-342-0508
Columbia University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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