Zee Media Bureau
Washington: A team of researchers has found 108 locations in the human genome associated with the risk of developing schizophrenia, a finding that may lead to innovations in treating the psychiatric disorder.
The feat was achieved by the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) – an international collaboration of more than 80 institutions.
For the study, the researchers from the PGC looked at samples from more than 1,50,000 people, of whom 36,989 were diagnosed with schizophrenia.
They found 108 genetic locations, or loci, where the DNA sequence in people with schizophrenia tends to differ from the sequence in people without the disease.
“This research is in some ways proof that genomics can succeed,” said Steven Hyman, director of the Stanley Centre for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Of the 108 loci identified, 83 had not been identified in previous work.
“Many of the loci are in or near genes suspected to be involved in schizophrenia and other mental disorders,” said Michael O'Donovan, a psychiatrist at Cardiff University in Britain, who led the study.
The large sample size allowed the researchers to develop an algorithm that would calculate a “risk score” for each variant's contribution to schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that affects approximately one out of every 100 people worldwide and is often characterized by abnormal social behavior and failure to recognize what is real.
The study has been published online in journal Nature.
(With Agency Inputs)