Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that affects a person’s ability to think, feel, and behave clearly. It is a chronic condition that usually develops in the late teenage years or early adulthood and lasts for life. The symptoms of schizophrenia can be divided into three categories: positive symptoms, negative symptoms, and cognitive symptoms.
Positive symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, and disordered thinking. Negative symptoms include a lack of motivation, emotional expression, and pleasure in everyday activities. Cognitive symptoms include difficulty with attention, memory, and decision-making.
SRRM2 and AKAP11 are the two new risk genes for schizofrenia
A new study that ScienceAlert tells us about has identified two newly discovered genes linked to schizophrenia and a previously known gene associated with schizophrenia risk that has also been linked to autism. This research is the first one to look at the risk of dealing with schizophrenia in different groups of individuals. The study has identified rare harmful variations in gene proteins that raise the risk of schizophrenia in all ethnic groups. This study’s findings could lead to new treatment targets, and the researchers aim to conduct more investigation on the clinical implications of the newfound genes on specific schizophrenia-related symptoms or behaviors and eventually identify potential medications to target them.
Dongjing Liu from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who is the lead author of the new study, explained:
By focusing on a subset of genes, we discovered rare damaging variants that could potentially lead to new medicines for schizophrenia,
Also significant: studying people of various ancestral backgrounds, we found that rare damaging variants in evolutionarily constrained genes confer a similar magnitude of schizophrenia risk among those different populations and that genetic factors previously established in predominantly white people have now been extended to non-whites for this debilitating disease.
The exact causes of schizophrenia remain complex, and mostly unknown, although a combination of genetic, environmental, and biological changes in the brain appears to play a role.
Schizophrenia can be a challenging condition to manage and can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. The symptoms of schizophrenia can vary from person to person and can be unpredictable. Treatment typically involves a combination of medication, therapy, and support services. While there is no cure for schizophrenia, early diagnosis and treatment can help to manage symptoms and improve overall functioning.
The new research has been published in the journal Nature Genetics.