August 16, 2006

Brain Development Gene (OLIG2) Linked as Predisposing Factor in Schizophrenia

A new study finds that a gene related to brain development and function plays a susceptibility role in schizophrenia

According to a press/marketing release from Mount Sinai School of Medicine - a new study indicates that variations of a gene related to brain development and function--OLIG2--may play a predisposing role for (making someone more susceptible to) the development of schizophrenia. The study is published in the August 15 issue of Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences.

Earlier research suggests that schizophrenia is associated with changes in myelin, the fatty substance or white matter in the brain that coats nerve fibers and is critical for the brain to function properly. Myelin is formed by a group of central nervous cells called oligodendrocytes, which are regulated by the gene oligodendrocyte lineage transcription factor 2 (OLIG2).

Patients with schizophrenia are known to have insufficient levels of oligodendrocytes, however the source of this [deficiency] has not been identified, explains study co-author Joseph D. Buxbaum, PhD.

Dr. Buxbaum and a team of Mount Sinai researchers collaborated with researchers from the Cardiff University School of Medicine in the United Kingdom to analyze DNA in blood samples taken from 673 unrelated patients with schizophrenia and compared their genetic information to 716 patients who did not have the disease. The controls were matched for age, sex, and ethnicity; none were taking medications at the time of the study.

The study showed that genetic variation in OLIG2 was strongly associated with schizophrenia. In the research paper they stated,

"Our data provide strong convergent evidence that variation in OLIG2 confers susceptibility to schizophrenia alone and as part of a network of genes implicated in oligodendrocyte function."

In addition, OLIG2 also showed a genetic association with schizophrenia when examined together with two other genes previously associated with schizophrenia--CNP and ERBB4--which are also active in the development of myelin. The expression of these three genes was also coordinated. Taken together the data support an etiological role for oligodendrocyte abnormalities in the development of schizophrenia.

"Multiple genes likely have a role in schizophrenia and there are probably many things happening in the brain of a schizophrenia patient," Dr. Buxbaum says. "The findings from this study help us tease out a potential biological cause that may be contributing to this debilitating illness. This study showed that OLIG2 has a causal etiological effect and these findings give us a stronger sense of where to look so we can develop more therapeutic targets for this very complex disease."

Dr. Buxbaum adds that as researchers further unravel the role of oligodendrocyte and myelin in schizophrenia, it is possible that medications like those being developed for the treatment of multiple sclerosis--a disorder associated with a breakdown of myelin--may have a future impact in the treatment of schizophrenia.

Source: Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Research Paper: Convergent evidence that oligodendrocyte lineage transcription factor 2 (OLIG2) and interacting genes influence susceptibility to schizophrenia.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Aug 4


I know a pakiatani family having a disease of sycosis.I think it is genetic but as u know pakistan is athird world countary no research are made.if u want a blood samples &case history of patients i will sent to u.

Posted by: sana gul at August 18, 2006 10:25 PM

my nephew was diagnosed w/ schiziphrenia a few years ago, he is 33 now. He is obsessed w/ Jesus, he has refused his medication, he said "Jesus has healed him". My sister is in denial, any suggestions?

Thank you.

Posted by: Mary at August 19, 2006 06:37 PM

My son has been sick for 9yrs I still can't accept it..But believe me she know's
she just doesn't want to talk about it ..yet! just be loving and supportive for her. Sometimes with this sickness things get much worse before they get better.She is going to need your friendship.

Posted by: susan at August 21, 2006 08:22 AM

Went to see my GP about my health. Anyhow; I knew I had been diagonised with Paranoid schizophrenia in December 1998. While there,
my GP asked me if I was aware of this.

I told him that I was diagonised as a Paranoid Schizophrenic but I have never taken any tablets since the diagnosis and I have never had any symptoms since that Psychotic episode in December 1998.

i own my home; have a family and a good job as well.

The GP told me that I was wrongly diagonised - and he doesnt believe I am a paranoid schizophrenic! He said he was going to erase that record from my health file. Is this possible?

Has anyone been in a similar situation? What next now as I have had this *stigma8 on my mind for 8 years!

The moral the story is to ask for second opion! Because doctors are always making mistakes.

Posted by: sarah smith at August 27, 2006 09:08 AM

For the first time in 30 years I fell in love. For me it was true love. There were problems in the relationship and I knew there was more to things then it seemed.

I loved her and she loved me enough to seek help and she was told she had schizophrenia. The news for her was like a death sentence. I told her to get a second opinion but I knew it was true after I read up on it.

Schizophrenia described my luv and I knew it was true.

Since then she has pulled away from this love because she knows I will not let her embrace her illness. She runs from me because my love is relentless and I will not let her forget that she needs medication to help her get rid of the voice in her head that controls her life in a very bad way. She embraces the voice and protects it. This voice means more to her then her child or anyone who loves her. She will protect it before she protects herself. She is not in control of her life, the voice is. With medication she can be in control but I read that schizophrenics will fight taking their medications. It also says they become a burden to their family's and often kill themselves.

I am worried but loosing the fight!

My luv told me she did not want to be in a relationship right now because she needed to get herself right and if that were true I would be fine.

I AM NOT FINE! I am not fine because it is a lie. The lie is she does not want to be around me or anyone who will try to get her to fight her illness. She does not want to fight the voice. She loves the voice. The voice that is destroying her.

I have aged ten years in these last 14 months and am sick most of the time. HEARTSICK!

I am loosing the fight to schizophrenia.


Posted by: Donna at November 14, 2006 08:34 AM

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