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 Custom-tailored strategy against glioblastomas
26.09.2016 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New leukemia treatment offers hope
23.09.2016 | King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

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 welding process joins dissimilar sheets better

Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of light metals.
Scientists at the University of Stuttgart have now developed two new process variants that will considerably expand the areas of application for friction stir welding.
Technologie-Lizenz-Büro (TLB) GmbH supports the University of Stuttgart in patenting and marketing its innovations.

Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of...

Im Focus: First quantum photonic circuit with electrically driven light source

Optical quantum computers can revolutionize computer technology. A team of researchers led by scientists from Münster University and KIT now succeeded in putting a quantum optical experimental set-up onto a chip. In doing so, they have met one of the requirements for making it possible to use photonic circuits for optical quantum computers.

Optical quantum computers are what people are pinning their hopes on for tomorrow’s computer technology – whether for tap-proof data encryption, ultrafast...

Im Focus: OLED microdisplays in data glasses for improved human-machine interaction

The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.

“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...

Im Focus: Artificial Intelligence Helps in the Discovery of New Materials

With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

Elpasolite is a glassy, transparent, shiny and soft mineral with a cubic crystal structure. First discovered in El Paso County (Colorado, USA), it can also be...

Im Focus: Complex hardmetal tools out of the 3D printer

For the first time, Fraunhofer IKTS shows additively manufactured hardmetal tools at WorldPM 2016 in Hamburg. Mechanical, chemical as well as a high heat resistance and extreme hardness are required from tools that are used in mechanical and automotive engineering or in plastics and building materials industry. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden managed the production of complex hardmetal tools via 3D printing in a quality that are in no way inferior to conventionally produced high-performance tools.

Fraunhofer IKTS counts decades of proven expertise in the development of hardmetals. To date, reliable cutting, drilling, pressing and stamping tools made of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

HLF: From an experiment to an establishment

29.09.2016 | Event News

European Health Forum Gastein 2016 kicks off today

28.09.2016 | Event News

Laser use for neurosurgery and biofabrication - LaserForum 2016 focuses on medical technology

27.09.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Multiferroic Materials from Building Blocks

29.09.2016 | Materials Sciences

Silicon Fluorescent Material Developed Enabling Observations under a Bright “Biological Optical Window”

29.09.2016 | Materials Sciences

X-shape Bio-inspired Structures

29.09.2016 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>