December 11, 2004

Gene identified that could Help Schizophrenia Treatment

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology

Australian scientists say the discovery of a new gene could significantly improve the treatment of patients with schizophrenia.

Doctors have found a gene which makes patients more susceptible to the side-effects of medication.

Many patients do not like to take the anti-psychotic drugs prescribed for schizophrenia because of severe side-effects, including depression, sexual problems and osteoporosis.

"It is a fundamentally important [discovery] because the way we've used medications until now has been trial and error," Professor Ross Young from Queensland University of Technology said.

Doctors say discovering the gene means they will be able to do a blood test or DNA swab and predict who will do better on certain medications.

"By screening for genetic markers we can give lower doses of medication or give ones that have less side effects," Professor Young said.

Source: ABC News Australia, at:


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