March 17, 2005

Schizophrenia Gene - D2 receptor

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology

It was reported from Australia today that a team there has identified what they are calling "a major new gene" associated with schizophrenia.

An Associate professor Phillip Morris, from Queensland University of Technology's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation was quoted as saying "The gene that we have been studying is a type of dopamine receptor gene. One version of this gene results in an overabundance of a specific type of brain receptor, called the D2 dopamine receptor," he said. "This overabundance has previously been identified as an important underlying feature of schizophrenia."

The researchers suggested that men and women who are thought to be at higher risk of developing schizophrenia might be diagnosed through the use of a genetic test for this overactive form of the dopamine receptor gene.

Another professor that worked on the study suggested that while genetics play an important role in the development of schizophrenia, it was also important to minimize exposure to environmental factors known to trigger schizophrenia in people in this genetic subgroup.

These environmental factors associated with triggering schizophrenia includ stress and substance abuse, as well as many other factors [see the long list of environmental factors associated with schizophrenia]

Source: The Medical Post


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