Friday, February 27, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia

By
July 23, 2014 |

WASHINGTON — Scientists have linked more than 100 spots in our DNA to the risk of developing schizophrenia, casting light on the mystery of what makes the disease tick.

Such work could eventually point to new treatments, although they are many years away. Already, the new results provide the first hard genetic evidence to bolster a theory connecting the immune system to the disease.

More than 100 researchers from around the world collaborated in the biggest-ever genomic mapping of schizophrenia, for which scientists had previously uncovered only about a couple of dozen risk-related genes.

The study included the genetic codes of more than 150,000 people — nearly 37,000 of them diagnosed with the disease. Researchers found 108 genetic markers for risk of getting the disease, 83 of them not previously reported. And scientists say there are still likely more to be found.

“It’s a genetic revelation; schizophrenia has been a mystery,” said study co-author Steve McCarroll, director of genetics for the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. “Results like this give you things to work on. It takes it out of the zone of guesses about which genes are relevant.”

The results were released Monday by the journal Nature. It takes large studies to ferret out genes related to schizophrenia risk because each gene generally has only a very weak effect.

Schizophrenia is a debilitating mental disorder that makes it hard to tell the difference between what is real and not real, and affects about one out of every 100 people. Studies estimate that it costs $60 billion in the U.S. each year. Scientists have long known that genes play a part, and this work further confirms that.

The results are a “big step” toward finding drug therapies, said study lead author Dr. Michael O’Donovan, deputy director of the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics at Cardiff University School of Medicine in Wales. While 108 genetic markers are a lot, the study authors say they tend to implicate a narrower group of biological functions, giving some but not too many hints for scientists to pursue.

“It’s a map or maze. It’s telling you were to start, it’s not telling you where to end,” O’Donovan said.

Scientists who didn’t work on the study were excited by the possibilities it opens up.

“This makes me more optimistic than I was yesterday,” said American Psychiatric Association president Dr. Thomas Summergrad, psychiatrist-in-chief at Tufts Medical Center.

Dr. Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute Mental Health, which funded the work, said the study provides useful hints about the biology of the disease, especially the link to the immune system.

“This really is a big step forward,” Insel said. “It’s not an answer; it’s a step forward toward an answer.”

Scientists already knew that families with autoimmune disorders tend to have higher rates of schizophrenia, and there’s been a link between certain viral infections in the second trimester of pregnancy and higher rates of schizophrenia in offspring, Insel said.

With the new work, “now it’s very clear that there’s something going in the immune system” with schizophrenia, said Eric Lander, founding director of the Broad Institute, which was heavily involved in the research.

O’Donovan figures most people have at least 20 to 30 genes that nudge them toward developing schizophrenia, probably many more, but don’t have the disorder itself. That’s because it may still take an environmental or emotional trigger to bring on the illness.

Insel was especially excited about one study finding, that people with the most genetic markers were 15 times more likely to have schizophrenia than those with the fewest markers. He said he hoped that scientists can eventually develop a genetic test to identify young people at high risk for the disease, so they can be offered early treatment.

But O’Donovan and McCarroll said the work is way too preliminary to even hint at that. Even the people with elevated risk of schizophrenia according to the test were far more likely to be free of the disorder than to have it.

As for developing treatments, “I don’t want to pretend than anybody’s going to make drugs easily,” Lander said.

But he said the study of schizophrenia genetics is now to the point that “we can actually turn the lights on and see what’s going on.”

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
 
Fairfield mayor ready to share a whale of a tale

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1, 1 Comment

Nonagenarian recounts life as spy in World War II

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
 
Republican women to hear about immigration reform

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
2-day event will focus on bullying prevention

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Kaiser offers Capoot scholarships

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4

 
 
Wolk to chair committee on state’s wine industry

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

Suisun City police log: Feb. 25, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Feb. 25, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

Llamas on the loose trends on Twitter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Two inured in hazmat explosion

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

No charges yet for train crash truck driver

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
After 67 years of marriage, couple dies holding hands

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Missing 400-year-old Italian books found in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Sacramento man pressured to remove swastikas

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

Not guilty plea for suspect in Hollywood exec murder

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Feds: 3 accused in Islamic State plot vocal about beliefs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Vandalism in Arizona shows the Internet’s vulnerability

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Prosecutor: Mom craved attention, poisoned child with salt

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Saudi man convicted of conspiracy in ’98 US embassy bombings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Panel: Use new meningitis vaccines only for outbreaks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
House GOP weighs new approach on Homeland Security

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Ukraine, rebels start pulling back heavy weapons in the east

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
‘Jihadi John’ raised in UK, studied computers, reports say

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Living

Today in History: Feb. 27, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Feb. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Feb. 27, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
I’m worrie about how my wife’s erratic behavior is affecting our kids

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Feb. 27-March 5, 2015

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Conan O’Brien takes his show to Cuba for a special hour

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Review: Smith, Robbie pour on the charm in sharp ‘Focus’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Custom dress Lupita Nyong’o wore at Oscars reported stolen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

ABC’s Sawyer does prime-time prison special

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Q&A: Writer-director-actor Mark Duplass is a busy guy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Actor Will Patton charged with DUI in native South Carolina

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
AP Exclusive: Redmayne lends voice to “Thomas & Friends”

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Entertainment Calendar: Feb. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
Tea Leoni in a happy state as star of ‘Madam Secretary’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Graceland brings Elvis back to his Las Vegas home

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Sports

 
A’s begin baseball’s mandatory domestic violence training

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Earthquakes set to open new MLS stadium

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

LeBron scores 42, Cavs beat Warriors for 18th win in last 20

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
AP source: 49ers to bid to host college football title game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Bulls say Rose to have surgery on Friday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

NASCAR back on track for extra day of testing in Atlanta

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
No word on possible MLB discipline for Angels star Hamilton

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Giants closer Casilla hit on shin during batting practice

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
LeBron not happy colleges recruiting 10-year-old son

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

IOC member, once critical of Rio, now sees ‘great progress’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Judge rules for Peterson, opening door for reinstatement

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Herman survives windy day; McIlroy stumbles at Honda Classic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Roberts, NBA writers open discussion over locker room access

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

IOC relaxes rule on athletes and sponsors during Olympics

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Nevada gambling regulators sign off on Olympic betting

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Video shows Hernandez dancing near gas pump before killing

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Kings’ Collison to have surgery, re-evaluated in 3-6 weeks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

.

Business

5 things to know about ‘net neutrality’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Regulators approve tougher rules for Internet providers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Volkswagen Jetta is a pleasure to live with, not just to gawk at

By Washington Post | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Strong reliability scores should help Buick brand’s rebirth

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Nissan executive known as ‘father of the Z’ dies at 105

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Medical marijuana passes tough first hurdle in Utah

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Applications for US jobless aid rise to 313,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Google looks for more revenue from ads in Android app store

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Walmart CEO wading through mounting issues

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Pew study: Americans still stressed despite improved economy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Facebook allows users to ‘fill in’ gender option

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11, 1 Comment

 
.

Obituaries

Donald Grimm

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Gabriel T. Traub

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Maria Kraszewski

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9