London: Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have identified gene networks affected in schizophrenia.They also uncovered an intriguing connection between schizophrenia and autism.“If we hadn’t known that these were two different diseases, and had put all the mutations into a single analysis, it would have come up with very similar networks,” said the study’s senior author, Dennis Vitkup, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics, the Centre for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, and the Columbia Initiative in Systems Biology at Columbia University Medical Center. “It shows how closely the autism and schizophrenia genetic networks are intertwined,” he added.Although it will take time to translate the findings into practical treatments, the study provides insight into the molecular causes of schizophrenia. It also suggests that mutations associated with schizophrenia, autism, and probably many other psychiatric disorders, are likely to converge on a set of interrelated molecular processes.
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