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New Clues to Schizophrenia

Researchers Identify Genes Linked With the Mental Illness, Create Risk Test

Genetics of Schizophrenia: Perspective

The researchers have simplified what is a ''very confusing area," says Stephen R. Marder, MD, professor of psychiatry at the Semel Institute of the University of California Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine. He reviewed the findings for WebMD.

"They have integrated information from very large genetic studies on schizophrenia and other kinds of studies and come up with patterns that may help us understand the genetics of schizophrenia," he says.

The new model, he says, suggests that risk is affected by how the brain develops and forms connections, and how factors in the environment may affect genes.

"This new research points to looking not so much at specific abnormal genes, but looking at actually what the genes do in the brain to make people vulnerable to schizophrenia," he says.

Marder reports consultant work for Amgen, Abbott, Pfizer, Lundbeck, Roche, and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company. He is also director of the Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center at the VA of Greater Los Angeles.

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