New Study into Genetics of Schizophrenia
A study recently published in Nature compared collected and analysed genetic data on 36,869 people with schizophrenia and over 100,000 people without to look for differences.
The team from the Psychiatric Genomics consortium used a technique called a genome wide association study (GWAS). This compares the genetic sequence of cases (people with the condition) to controls (people without). The process allows the identification of genetic differences associated with the condition (NOT CAUSING IT), these areas can then be investigated further.
The study found 128 differences associated with having schizophrenia of which 83 have not previously been identified. Some of these were in genes to do with the chemical messengers in the brain which is not surprising but many were involved in the immune system which was more unexpected. The authors are rightly cautious about suggesting a direct cause and effect link but do believe these areas should be researched further.