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Researchers Looking for Genes That Control the Brain

‘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.’

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