Schizophrenia has long been known to be hereditary. However, as a melting pot of disorders with different genetic causes is concealed behind manifestations of schizophrenia, research has still not been able to identify the main gene responsible to this day.
In order to study the genetic background of schizophrenia, the frequency of particular risk genes between healthy and ill people has mostly been compared until now. Pharmacopyschologist Professor Boris Quednow from University Hospital of Psychiatry, Zurich, and Professor Georg Winterer’s workgroup at the University of Cologne have now adopted a novel approach. Using electroencephalography (EEG), the scientists studied the processing of simple acoustic stimuli (a sequence of similar clicks). When processing a particular stimulus, healthy people suppress the processing of other stimuli that are irrelevant to the task at hand. Patients with schizophrenia exhibit deficits in this kind of stimulus filtering and thus their brains are probably inundated with too much information. As psychiatrically healthy people also filter stimuli with varying degrees of efficiency, individual stimulus processing can be associated with particular genes.Smokers process stimuli less effectively
The data collected shows that psychiatrically healthy carriers of the TCF4 gene also filter stimuli less effectively – like people who suffer from schizophrenia. It turned out that primarily smokers who carry the risk gene display a less effective filtering of acoustic impressions. This effect was all the more pronounced the more the people smoked. Non-smoking carriers of the risk gene, however, did not process stimuli much worse. “Smoking alters the impact of the TCF4 gene on acoustic stimulus filtering,” says Boris Quednow, explaining this kind of gene-environment interaction. “Therefore, smoking might also increase the impact of particular genes on the risk of schizophrenia.” The results could also be significant for predicting schizophrenic disorders and for new treatment approaches, says Quednow and concludes: “Smoking should also be considered as an important cofactor for the risk of schizophrenia in future studies.” A combination of genetic (e.g. TCF4), electrophysiological (stimulus filtering) and demographic (smoking) factors could help diagnose the disorder more rapidly or also define new, genetically more uniform patient subgroups.Literature:
Nathalie Huber | idw
Complete skin regeneration system of fish unraveled
24.04.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology
Scientists generate an atlas of the human genome using stem cells
24.04.2018 | The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.
Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...
Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.
Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
24.04.2018 | Information Technology
24.04.2018 | Earth Sciences
24.04.2018 | Life Sciences