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Many Genes for Schizophrenia

Professor David Porteous discusses genes for schizophrenia and points out that susceptibility likely aligns to a combination of genetic variants.
The question of which genes are most closely linked to schizophrenia is the hot topic at the moment. There are some groups who have almost got star ratings for the genes. This is good news in a sense because we what it tells us is actually that the field is moving on. We've known for a very long time that genes are involved in schizophrenia. What's been very difficult was to pin down and name some of the likely culprits. There are a number of studies that have been done by a variety of groups that point to specific regions of the genome, and within those regions of the genome there is a list of so-called candidate genes, any one of which might be a risk factor for schizophrenia. The big challenge is to sift through that list of possible candidates and come up with convincing evidence that one of that set is likely to be the most important smoking gun, if you like, in schizophrenia. Now, I should emphasize that we're not looking for one gene, we're not looking for two, we're looking for three, four, five, maybe ten, maybe twenty, maybe even more genes that contribute to vulnerability to schizophrenia. Some individuals will have a particular constellation, or grouping, of those risk factors, and other individuals might have a different overlapping set of risk factors. So there's no one gene for schizophrenia - that we know that for certain. We don't know the total number but it's likely to be measured in the low tens, ten to twenty perhaps, in my opinion. And if we look at the current state of play then there are a number of genes that keep coming up in all the studies that are being done around the world. One of them is a gene called neuregulin, another is a gene called dysbindin, a third gene probably exists on chromosome 22 for reasons we can discuss later, and a fourth gene is the one we've been most closely associated with the so called DISC1 gene.
schizophrenia, candidate, genes risk, factor, multigenetic, genetic, vulnerability, susceptibility, neuregulin, nrg, dysbindin, dtnbp1, disc1, david, porteous
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