Navigation Links
Researchers Looking for Genes That Control the Brain

Although it’s our most vital organ, surprisingly little is known about what constitutes a ‘normal’ brain. That makes it harder to uncover what’s gone awry in people suffering// from mental illness and other brain-associated disorders, and ultimately, it often leaves physicians treating symptoms rather than causes of conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and many other ailments.

That’s why researchers from two San Antonio institutions have combined forces for the largest study of its kind to map out normal variations in brain structure and function and identify the genes responsible for those variations. They expect their five-year investigation – funded with two new cooperative grants totaling $7 million from the National Institute of Mental Health – to yield a host of new data on basic brain biology and mental illnesses, as well as spawn additional studies focusing on specific diseases.

Why study what’s ‘normal’? Because scientists have not developed a good understanding of basic brain biology and the role of genes, they do not know the root causes of most mental disorders, said geneticist John Blangero, Ph.D., of the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, who is leading the study with David Glahn, Ph.D., psychologist and associate professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

To get to the heart of the matter, Blangero and Glahn are taking a different approach from many previous studies of the brain. Rather than looking for research subjects suffering from a particular mental illness and studying differences in their brain structure and function, this research team is working with large family groups from the average population to better understand normal brain variation and the genes that control it.

‘We want to inform aspects of brain biology that are relevant for a lot of different diseases,’ Blangero said. ‘That’s why we’re not focused on any disease. We’re focused on finding the genes that influence normal brain variation. Those are going to be the same genes that also influence pathological variations.’

‘This gives us the potential to evolve some of the basic questions that we’re constantly dealing with from the side of neurologic and psychiatric illness, research areas where it’s difficult to gain traction when you’re focused on the disease itself,’ explained Glahn. ‘This is because the things we’re interested in -- be they cognition, brain structure or brain physiology – are changed dramatically in people with mental illness. So we [in the psychiatric community] are constantly questioning, ‘Is this change [in the brain] a cause of the illness? A result of the illness? A result of treatment of the illness?’ By studying the biology of the brain in healthy subjects, we’ll be able to overcome the ‘chicken-and-egg’ problem that’s constantly there in clinical research.’

Source-Newswise
SRM
'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Researchers urge caution in using ear tube surgery
2. Researchers Scale to assess the Severity of Epilepsy in Kids
3. Researchers trick Alzheimers Enzyme
4. Researchers find new HIV hiding place
5. New Hair in 15 Days Could Now Be A Possibility Say Researchers
6. Researchers developed world’s smallest toothbrus
7. Researchers discover receptor cells that can cause epilepsy
8. 15 Anti-SARS Drugs Identified By China-Europe Team of Researchers
9. Researchers reversed the process of memory loss
10. Researchers Identify Key Gene That May Help Brain Treatment
11. Researchers Discover Protein That Causes Malaria
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/24/2016)... Marne, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... To deal with these feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or ... Center of Marne, Michigan, has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her ... would lash out at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he ... he would use it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say he ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. ... The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered among the top ... Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited to announce ... program to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Comfort Keepers ... of life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments is one ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... People across the U.S. are sharpening their ... Award, an essay contest in which patients and their families pay tribute to a ... the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this September. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 The Academy of Managed Care ... that would allow biopharmaceutical companies to more easily ... make formulary and coverage decisions, a move that addresses ... medicines. The recommendations address restrictions in the ... the drug label, a prohibition that hinders decision makers ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition ... report to their offering. ... The World Market for Companion Diagnostics covers the world ... in the report includes the following: , ... by Region (N. America, EU, ROW), 2015-2020 , World ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , Belgium , June 24, ... VNRX), today announced the appointment of Dr. ... Directors as a Non-Executive Director, effective June 23, ... Audit, Compensation and Nominations and Governance Committees.  As ... Futcher will provide independent expertise and strategic counsel ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: