Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Research suggests shared genetic link in psychiatric and movement disorders

Fewer than 100 people in the world are known to be affected by a movement disorder called rapid-onset dystonia-parkinsonism (RDP), but its symptoms are life-changing.

Seemingly normal young people are suddenly and dramatically unable to control movement of their arms or legs and have trouble speaking or swallowing. A normal life is nearly impossible.

RDP is caused by a genetic mutation (ATP1A3) that often runs in families. Now Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center researchers believe that same genetic predisposition might also be associated with psychiatric problems, such as anxiety, mood disorders and substance abuse/dependence.

Allison Brashear, M.D., chair of neurology at Wake Forest Baptist, and the lead investigator in this $2.5 million, four-year study funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), said this is one of the few studies to look at this rare condition that has no known treatment. "RDP often occurs suddenly after a stressful episode, such as running a marathon or childbirth," said Brashear. "Patients become severely disabled over hours to days and do not recover."

Brashear and nine other Wake Forest Baptist scientists, as well as colleagues from Harvard Medical School and Mount Sinai School of Medicine, enrolled 56 individuals for this study. Twenty-three of the RDP patients were related, three RDP patients were unrelated.

Of the 29 participants with the genetic mutation, 26 had dystonia symptoms and three were carriers, but without the motor symptoms; the remaining 27 participants without the mutation, were enrolled as the control group.

Following standard physical examination and behavioral assessment, Brashear's team found that individuals with the mutation but without the motor symptoms did not report any history of psychiatric disorder, while those with dystonia symptoms reported anxiety (48 percent; control 41percent), mood (50 percent; control 22 percent), psychotic (19 percent; control 0 percent) and substance abuse/dependence (38 percent; control 27 percent).

Researchers concluded that ATP1A3 mutations cause a wide spectrum of motor and nonmotor symptoms and that psychotic symptoms tended to develop before or simultaneous to the beginning of motor dysfunction. Further, the team believes the findings suggest psychiatric disorders may be another expression of the genetic mutation. Brashear said there are also clinical implications as a result of this study and suggested that those who deal with patients with psychosis, particularly in families with a history of dystonia-parkinsonism, consider the genetic mutation as a possible contributor to the mental illness.

Co-authors in this study were: Jared F. Cook, M.A., Deborah F. Hill, M.A, Alethea Amponsah, B.A., Beverly M. Snively, Ph.D., Laney Light, M.S., Cynthia K. Suerken, M.S., W. Vaughn McCall, M.D., and Niki Boggs, B.A., of Wake Forest Baptist; Laurie Ozelius, Ph.D., Mount Sinai School of Medicine; and Kathleen J. Sweadner, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School.

Funding for this study was provided by the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke through Grant # NINDS 5R01-NS058949-04.

Paula Faria | EurekAlert!
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 >>>