April 30, 2006

Variations in PDLIM5 Gene Linked to Schizophrenia Risk

New research coming from Japan suggests that increased schizophrenia risk is tied to specific variations of the PDLIM5 gene. (note, this is just one of a list of a dozen or so gene variations that have been identified as potential factors for increased risk of schizophrenia).

In their recent study the Japanese researchers stated "results of recent DNA microarray analyses of postmortem brains of patients with schizophrenia revealed that expression of the PDLIM5 gene is increased. In the present study, we examined whether variations (called polymorphisms) in PDLIM5 are associated with schizophrenia."

They explained, "We screened for variations (mutations) in PDLIM5 in 24 Japanese patients with schizophrenia and evaluated the associations of the identified polymorphisms with schizophrenia in a Japanese case-control population (total samples, 278 schizophrenia patients and 462 control subjects)."

The researchers concluded that their "results suggest that PDLIM5 might play a role in genetic susceptibility to schizophrenia."

Horiuchi and colleagues published their study in Biological Psychiatry (A polymorphism in the PDLIM5 gene associated with gene expression and schizophrenia. Biol Psychiatry, 2006;59(5):434-439).

More information: The Genetics of Schizophrenia


I am from India.Recently in a TV story i saw a villager is forced to keep ALL his living THREE children in Chains as they all are insane and the two who died also were insane.The report used the word insane as all the FIVE children were violent,abusive and attacked other children and tore the clothes of other children and their own.The village panchayat decided to keep them in chains sothat they will not cause harm to others.Both the parents in the TV report appeared to be Normal.Is not this a fit case for genetic evaluation?
I am an ordinary carer of a schizophernic daughter for the past 20 years.

Posted by: captainjohann at May 7, 2006 07:10 AM

The children are ill with a medical condition, and cannot be expected, without treatment (medication) to control their own behavior. I am sure the children do not intend to be 'abusive' or 'violent', they are simply affected with an illness that can frighten them or force them into such behavior. The word 'insane' sounds like a very cruel word to apply to a child who can no more control himself than a child can control coughing if they have pneumonia, or avoid falling down if they have seizures.

Just because the parents do not have the illness, means very little about genetics of the illness. Parents do not have to show an illness in order for the illness to be genetic.

We always have to remember that the cause of this illness is not known. It can be managed and treated, and there are many theories about cause, but at this point in time, we have to keep an open mind about causes. It is likely to be genetics, but there is no rule that these genetics must behave exactly like other genetic illnesses. In fact, it is likely that the genetics of schizophrenia are unique in the world.

Posted by: slc at May 11, 2006 09:31 AM

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