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:4/29/2016)... ... , ... Our bodies are bombarded daily by environmental and lifestyle factors that ... is to adopt a more healthful diet, but too many people think that food ... Nutritionist and the creator of the Newport Beach Cleanse and 14-Day Eating Plan, disagrees ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... , ... April 29, 2016 , ... On Tuesday, April ... across the Southeast, celebrated the signature of Gov. Nathan Deal on SB 258, the ... Duncan (R - Cumming), offers a 70% tax credit to individuals and corporations which ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... The American workforce ... stability, even security. Most importantly, employees are the single most important asset in ... workers so unhappy? , Just under half of American workers are emotionally checked ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Dr. Bernie Siegel, ... "LOVE, MEDICINE and MIRACLES") addresses touchy topics related to Death live on ... Dr. Bernie Siegel, author of a plethora of essential books-to-read for physicians ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... The White House ... their loans, more information about their loan terms and accounts, and more protections ... debt, including federal and private loans, has reached $1.3 trillion, with 43 million ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/29/2016)... BERLIN , April 29, 2016 ... world-leading glyco-biology expertise, today announces the appointment of Dr. ... Dr. Zurlo is an oncologist with many years ... pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. His last role was at ... Member of the Executive Board. Previously Dr. Zurlo held ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... 2016  Marking its one year anniversary since ... cancer risk test, Color Genomics announced ... highly impact the most common hereditary cancers affecting ... Test analyzes hereditary cancer risks for breast, colorectal, ... The Color Test is physician ordered and includes ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 Dr. ... and Ste phen ... ArisGlobal®, a leading provider of cloud-based software solutions for life ... Pharmacovigilance team to bring a wealth of insight to a growing ... pharmacovigilance knowledge. George Phillips joined ArisGlobal in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: