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Dublin: 9 °C Friday 24 October, 2014

Trinity researchers identify schizophrenia-causing genetic mutation

The mutation can increase the risk of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder up to ten-fold.

Image: DNA via Shutterstock

A GROUP OF scientists at Trinity College believe they have identified a genetic mutation that can increase the likelihood of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

The study, funded by the Wellcome Trust and Science Foundation Ireland, was recently published in the leading international peer reviewed journal Human Molecular Genetics.

Speaking about the significance of the study, lead author Professor Aiden Corvin said:

“This finding demonstrates the power of gene discovery to provide new insights into poorly understood, but potentially devastating disorders.

“Treatment in this area has advanced little in the last forty years.

Making progress in understanding the molecular mechanisms of disease gives me hope that new, effective treatments will emerge as has been the case in other branches of medicine, such as cancer treatment.

Schizophrenia or bipolar disorder affects about one in 50 Irish adults.

Treatments are available, but response is variable and the underlying biology remains elusive.

There is increasing evidence that these disorders share common genetic risk factors: identifying risk genes gives new insights into this biology and can inform new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.

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