Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Research findings about schizophrenia gene offer hope for better drugs

A research team from Uppsala University and AstraZeneca has found that the schizophrenia gene QKI affects the production of myelin, the material that insulates nerve fibers. It is hoped that these findings will lead to enhanced treatment of schizophrenia. The findings are being published in the Net edition of PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) in mid-April.

The research group has previously shown that the QKI gene is a possible contributing cause of the disease schizophrenia. Now the scientists have found that QKI normally regulates the myelin genes, that is, the genes that govern the production of myelin, the insulation material for nerve fibers.

Moreover, the research team can show that the genetic expression of QKI is altered in schizophrenic patients and that the change correlates directly with the change in the myelin gene expression.

“In schizophrenics, fewer myelin proteins and less myelin are produced, we believe. Since myelin functions as an insulating substance around nerve fibers, impulse transmission is hampered in schizophrenics,” explains Elena Jazin.

The team of scientists has also seen that a variant of QKI called 7kb is the variant that changes most in schizophrenic patients. This 7kb also has a major effect on the expression of myelin genes in these patients.

“Just how the reduction of myelin affects the symptoms in schizophrenic patients is something we must investigate further,” says Elena Jazin.

It is hoped that the new findings will lead to improved treatment of schizophrenia in the future.

“We hope that existing drugs can be altered so that more patients will be helped and the side effects reduced. Perhaps the findings will also lead to new medicines. But this will require research and will take a long time,” says Elena Jazin.

Schizophrenia is one of the most common psychiatric public health disorders, affecting an average of one percent of the population of the world. Today’s methods of treatment can partially alleviate the symptoms, but many patients are not helped at all by them. Normally patients become ill between the ages of 15 and 30 and remain so for the rest of their lives.

The Uppsala University scientists in the research group are, besides Elena Jazin, Karolina Åberg and Peter Saetre. Niclas Jareborg has participated from AstraZeneca.

Linda Nohrstedt | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration
25.10.2016 | eLife

nachricht Phenotype at the push of a button
25.10.2016 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>