You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Huge schizophrenia study finds dozens of new genetic causes


A consortium of hundreds of researchers has released what's been dubbed the largest study ever into the genetic causes of mental illness. The illness in focus: schizophrenia.
 
The study, published in Nature, compared the DNA of around 150,000 individuals spanning clinics all over the world.
 
They found 108 places on the genome that tend to be different in people with the disease than in people without.
 
Of those 108, 83 are totally new findings, meaning the possibilities for research into the genetic causes of and treatments for the disease have now more than tripled. 
 
Schizophrenia affects around 1 percent of the population, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Some of the common symptoms are hallucinations involving any of the five senses, delusions, particularly feelings of persecution, depression-like symptoms like apathy and lack of pleasure, and what the NIMH calls "disorganized thinking."
 
One of the trademark symptoms is hearing voices. Artist Sue Morgan tried to tell Nature what that's like earlier this year.
 
"I can hear various conversations, and there's a particular set of conversations which are two people having a telephone conversation and I'm intercepting it."
 
And CNN's Anderson Cooper got a taste recently when he tried a "schizophrenia simulator."
 
"It makes you feel completely isolated from everyone else around you. You don't want to engage in conversation with other people, you find yourself wanting to engage in conversation with the voices in your head."
 
There are drugs that help people manage the hallucinations and delusions, but LiveScience says, "No medications with fundamentally new ways of treating schizophrenia have been developed since the 1950s."
 
That might change with the help of the new study. And while DNA can't account for all of the risk factors for schizophrenia, the researcher in charge of the study, Michael O'Donovan, told the BBC understanding the genetics is a huge first step.
 
"What it does do is give the opportunity for lots of further research really firmly based in a solid foundation of knowledge to understand the biology."
 
The National Institutes of Health estimate the U.S. will spend more than $230 million on schizophrenia research this year.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Health

Idaho woman blames car crash on deer-chasing Bigfoot
Idaho woman blames car crash on deer-chasing Bigfoot

A northern Idaho woman blamed a car crash with a deer on a Sasquatch sighting last week. >> Read more trending news The woman told police she collided with the deer after spotting a Bigfoot on a highway near Potlatch near the Washington border, according to NBC Montana. The woman said the Sasquatch was chasing the deer Wednesday night along the...
D.L. Stewart: A non-review of ‘Beauty and the Beast’
D.L. Stewart: A non-review of ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Due to a number of factors, I’m not a movie critic. One factor is that I have a hearing loss, making it difficult to evaluate technical stuff, such as dialogue. Another is that apparently I don’t know the difference between great movies and mediocre ones. Take “Citizen Kane,” which virtually every critic agrees is the greatest...
Coupon deals of the week
Coupon deals of the week

Coupon availability and coupon values may vary within different regions or neighborhoods. Brut Deodorant This week at both Walgreens and Rite-Aid, Brut deodorant is on sale for $1.99. Use the $1 off one Brut deodorant coupon found in most of today’s SmartSource inserts and you will pay just 99 cents for this item. Clairol Hair Color This week...
4 things parents should never ignore

I spend lots of time talking with parents about how to get their kids to clean their rooms, complete their homework, and do routine household chores. I understand why these things matter to parents. They are important in some ways. One of the many challenges of being a parent is figuring out what to ignore, and what to discipline. We don’t want...
Create the life you want by making good decisions
Create the life you want by making good decisions

In this week’s column, I am giving you a test. It is designed to get you thinking about how you have been living in your home and what changes you want to make moving forward. The test will help you objectively decide what to keep and what to part with when going through your belongings. Choose only one answer to each question. It’s not...
More Stories