Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers discover important genetic flaw in family affected by schizophrenia

16.05.2003


Work published in Journal of Medical Genetics indicates break may lead to an understanding of an important piece of the puzzle



Researchers at the University of Alberta have discovered a genetic flaw in a family suffering with schizophrenia that may help to explain an important biochemical process implicated in the onset of the disease.
Studying a British mother and daughter, the researchers discovered that both were found to have a "break" in a large gene on human chromosome 14, due to a rearranged chromosome.

The broken gene is a member of a family of similar genes affecting brain development and function. The genes in this group are involved in behaviour, memory and regulating day/night cycles.



"The fact that these genes--important in brain development and behaviour--are broken, cuts off important functions of the corresponding protein, particularly the ability to bind to DNA. Binding to DNA is an important way proteins can control the expression of other genes," says Professor Diane Cox, Chair of the Medical Genetics Department. "We believe this gene has all the features expected for a gene contributing to mental illness in this family."

Under the supervision of Dr. Cox, the work was conducted by PhD graduate student, Deepak Kamnasaran, and is published in the May issue of the Journal of Medical Genetics, entitled Disruption of the neuronal PAS3 gene in a family affected with schizophrenia.

Dr. Cox points out that schizophrenia is a complex disease and many genes are likely associated with its cause and development. "Our work isn’t the whole story, but it helps us put in place a key piece of the puzzle that we can further explore."

The authors include: Dr. Kamnasaran (former University of Alberta graduate student, now a postdoctoral fellows at The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto); Dr. Walter Muir (psychiatrist, Royal Edinburgh Hospital); Professor Malcolm Ferguson-Smith (Centre for Veterinary Science, Cambridge); and Dr. Cox (Medical Genetics, University of Alberta).

Funding for the work was provided by the March of Dimes (USA) and studentships to Dr. Kamnasaran from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research.

Schizophrenia is a biochemical brain disorder characterized by delusions, disordered thinking, hallucinations and a lack of motivation and energy. One in every 100 people in Canada is affected; it usually strikes between the ages of 15 and 25.


The U of A in Edmonton, Alberta is one of Canada’s premier teaching and research universities serving more than 33,000 students with 6,000 faculty and staff. It continues to lead the country with the most 3M Teaching Fellows, Canada’s only national award recognizing teaching excellence.

Michael Robb | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ualberta.ca/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University

nachricht The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute

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: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

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

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

InLight study: insights into chemical processes using light

05.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>