Understanding Healthy Brain Function Furthers Progress in Identifying Causes of Schizophrenia

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Brain & Behavior Research Foundation NARSAD Grantee David Braff, M.D., University of California, San Diego, Expert on Schizophrenia
David Braff, M.D.

Up to twelve chromosome regions may harbor genes for keeping the brain in good working order, reports a new study by Brain & Behavior Research Foundation NARSAD Grantee David Braff, M.D., and his research team. Because problems with certain jobs done by the brain, such as remembering information, have been linked to schizophrenia, pinpointing the genes that help those jobs get done well may be a backdoor route to finding genes that contribute to the disorder. 

Conducted by the Consortium on the Genetics of Schizophrenia and led by Dr. David Braff at the University of California, San Diego, the study measured a dozen different brain functions of 1,246 people either with schizophrenia or related to someone with the illness (296 families represented in total). Problems with certain brain functions, including those related to attention, memory, verbal learning and the ability to suppress a movement were sometimes associated with certain stretches of DNA (molecules that contain heredity encoding information) along the chromosomes. For example, a person’s ability to suppress an eye movement was associated with a region of chromosome 3. 
 
The study could only identify the ballpark region along the chromosome and not the specific genes. Future finer-grained studies will have to pluck out the relevant genes and see if they do indeed contribute to risk for developing schizophrenia. 
 
The study was published online Mar. 20, 2013 in American Journal of Psychiatry.
 
Read more on the Schizophrenia Research Forum website sponsored by the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation
 

Article comments

As one who was diagnosed with schizophrenia about 30 years ago I am so happy with the amount of research that is going on. I just wanted to express thanks for this great research. Thanks much, Jeff Simpson.

We have 2 questions:
1-what are the nature of internal changes embodies in the psychological,mental and emotional world of the person causing the schizophrenia ?
2-Then,what are the total defective genetic characteristics,which have a role in development of these changes ?

Tell us what is right in the following:
1-The disorder in the processes of retrieving information from areas of the brain is the CAUSE that creating the schizophrenia case itself and its all symptoms
2-The disorder in the retrieving information from the brain causing a disorder in attention,which in turn causes a disorders in all mental processes
3-The schizophrenia disorder in itself is the hallucination actions that creating a disorder in the attention level,which in turn causes a disorders in all mental processes,including the processes of both retrieving information from brain or keeping (store ) the information

Simple questions:
1-What are the characteristics of the gene and functions that causes the mechanism of memory process?
2-What are the characteristics of gene and functions that creating the mental message itself ?
3-What are the genetic characteristics that creating the meaning and connotation of mental message ?
4-What is the schizophrenia disorder in itself ?
5-What is the role of genetic characteristics in the process of schizophrenia disorder ?

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