Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


CIMH: Increased genetic load for schizophrenia identified in treatment


Can medication efficacy be predicted in schizophrenia patients?

This question is the focus of an international research consortium (CRESTAR), in collaboration with scientists from the CIMH. Among others the researchers aimed to elucidate whether medication efficacy in schizophrenia can be predicted by attributes that can be assessed prior to treatment initiation. First results indicate that medication will be less effective in patients who carry more risk genes for schizophrenia. The study has now been published in the scientific journal Molecular Psychiatry.

Schizophrenia is a major psychiatric disorder, often characterized by a chronic progression in symptoms. This in turn leads to pronounced psychosocial impairment and the requirement for permanent care.
At present, psychiatrists are unable to predict which medication will be effective in a given schizophrenia patient.

The EU-funded CRESTAR project ( aims to investigate this research topic. A particular focus of its research work is a highly potent antipsychotic medication, Clozapine, which has been available since decades. Clozapine however, is only used after at least two trials of other medications have proven to be unsuccessful, as in a small number of cases life-threatening side-effects arise. This approach leads to a delay in effective treatment and a worsening of long-term prognosis.

The CRESTAR researchers are now investigating: First, whether clear indicators for the development of these adverse effects can be identified at an earlier time-point; and second whether clozapine will be effective in a given individual patient. Identification of these factors would allow the safe and effective initiation of clozapine during the early stages of illness.

CRESTAR researchers used information concerning many thousands of genetic markers to show that antipsychotic medication in general will be less effective in patients with a higher genetic load for schizophrenia. This genetic load is already present at birth. Despite the existence of familial schizophrenia, most schizophrenia patients have no family history of the disease. Thus a genetic test to determine the genetic load would represent a first step towards individualized therapy.

Until present psychiatric genetic research has generated few results of direct relevance to treatment, and individual prediction is still not possible. The results of the present study are only a small step into this direction. According to the first author of this recent CRESTAR study, Josef Frank, this is likely to change in the future, since through the development of new biostatistical methods, an increasing amount of information is being obtained concerning genetic variation across the whole genome.

Identification of increased genetic risk scores for schizophrenia in treatment resistant patients.
Josef Frank, Maren Lang, Stephanie H Witt, Jana Strohmaier, Dan Rujescu, Sven Cichon, Franziska Degenhardt, Markus M Nöthen, David A Collier, Stephan Ripke, Dieter Naber & Marcella Rietschel. Molecular Psychiatry (2014). doi:10.1038/mp.2014.56

Contact at the CIMH:
Prof. Dr. Marcella Rietschel
Central Institute of Mental Health
Department of Genetic Epidemiology in Psychiatry

Weitere Informationen:

Sigrid Wolff | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Further reports about: CIMH Identification Molecular Psychiatry antipsychotic clozapine medication schizophrenia

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

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...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

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

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>