Sunday, October 5, 2008

New Clues to Schizophrenia Genetics

An article posted by Virginia Hughes (pictured, right) on her weblog today:
A specific gene in the chromosomal region 22q11 is important for normal brain connectivity and synapse formation, and its absence may lead to schizophrenia, researchers are reporting today in Nature Neuroscience. The same team first linked a deletion in the chromosomal region to the disorder 13 years ago.

This approach of honing in on an individual gene’s effect on the mouse brain, experts predict, will become more common as scientists identify more copy number variations (CNVs) — duplications or deletions of a stretch of DNA — relevant to schizophrenia and autism.

To read the entire article, click here.

Neurons from the 22q11 mouse model (right) have fewer spines than normal mouse (left).

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