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Gene Variant associated with Schizophrenia identified

treatments in the future."

Dr James MacCabe of the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, said: "It is a very interesting study, and, potentially, quite an exciting one.

"We have known for years that schizophrenia had a genetic contribution, but until quite recently no genes had been found.

"Over the past five years there have been about 10 possible genes identified, and neuregulin is a very promising gene."

He said: "It is a relatively small study and will have to be repeated on a much larger scale, but if the results hold true the findings would be significant.

"The next stage would be to understand how a defect in this gene causes schizophrenia so as to understand the neurobiology of the disorder and design treatments that could reduce the symptoms."

Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity Sane, said: "There have been so many hopes of finding a gene for schizophrenia which have ended in a cul-de-sac.

"If this latest research were to prove a breakthrough and lead to understanding what causes schizophrenia, we could at last find more effective treatments and potential cures, transforming the future for the one in 100 who suffer from this devastating condition."
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