2003 Breakthrough in Identification of Genes Associated with Schizophrenia

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
Daniel Weinberger, M.D. - Brain & behavior research expert on schizophrenia
Daniel Weinberger, M.D.

Daniel Weinberger, M.D., received a NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Grantin 2000 to take an innovative approach in the search to identify genes that increase susceptibility for developing schizophrenia. Dr. Weinberger worked with 400 sibling pairs and measured levels of the brain chemical n-acetyl-aspartate (NAA), a neurochemical measure related to the integrity of glutamate neurons, to determine if this could be linked with targeted genetic association studies in schizophrenia. Reduced levels of NAA had previously been found in the hippocampus region of the brain in patients with schizophrenia and their unaffected siblings. Dr. Weinberger tested candidate genes which relate to NAA levels and other biological factors in schizophrenia and searched for associations with the variables in both patients and their well siblings.

In 2003, Dr. Weinberger’s discoveries were heralded by Science magazine as the “second biggest scientific breakthrough of the year,” second only to the newfound insights into the nature of the cosmos. This work represented the first absolutely objective insight into the biological causes of schizophrenia. Dr. Weinberger is now regarded worldwide as perhaps the pre-eminent scientist in schizophrenia.

Read more about this study.

Read press release from the NIMH about Dr. Weinberger’s work being named “#2 scientific “breakthrough of the year” by Science magazine.

Add new comment

comments

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Please note that researchers cannot give specific recommendations or advice about treatment; diagnosis and treatment are complex and highly individualized processes that require comprehensive face-to- face assessment. Please visit our "Ask an Expert" section to see a list of Q & A with NARSAD Grantees.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.