April 21, 2004

Gene Variation

University of Iowa researchers announce schizophrenia breakthrough

Gene variation is confirmed as a key contributor in schizophrenia - and appears to be responsible for about 2% of the cases of schizophrenia in white people.

Excerpt from Iowa City Press-Citizen:

A new piece of the schizophrenia puzzle has been found by University of Iowa researchers.

"For years, we've wondered why the genes that seem to make us vulnerable to mental illness are so common," Philibert said. "You know how they say, 'That which does not kill us makes us stronger.' Well, some of the genes that make us stronger can hurt us, too."

He explained that if a person has two copies of a certain gene, that person will develop sickle cell anemia. But if the person has only one copy of that same gene, that person is more resistant to malaria.

The UI researchers found that a certain gene segment can cause a form of schizophrenia in about 2 percent of white people.


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