Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Researchers discover important genetic flaw in family affected by schizophrenia


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:

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 >>>