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The genetic link to schizophrenia has been found. Apparently, when a normal process of the brain goes into overdrive, schizophrenia appears. The result of this research might help the researchers find a cure for this disease and even prevent it.
After brain tissue, genetics and lab mice have been analyzed, the people who will suffer from this disease might be able to be cured of it, according to Bruce Cuthbert from the National Institute of Mental Health. Experts who have not participated in the study stated that the results of the study could be accurate.
Statistics show that 1% of the population will get schizophrenia at some point. These people will start to have strange ideas, they will hallucinate, hear voices, believe that other people can read their minds and they will believe that others are making plots against them. Unfortunately, the cause of the disorder is not yet known so the result of the study might help shed some light on the mysterious issue.
According to the lead author of the study, Steven McCaroll from the Harvard Medical School, the results of the study could apply to most schizophrenia cases, if not even all of them. The symptoms of the disease start to appear either in the teenage or the early adulthood years. During these ages, the brain cuts down on the number of places where the brain cells are specialized. This is the place in which the cells give signals to each other and there are the synapses. Schizophrenia occurs when too many synapses are deleted, when the normal process starts to work unusually. Cuthbert compared the process to a gardening one. He said that it is like a gardener that is supposed to cut just some of the bushes and, but he starts to cut way too much than he was supposed to. McCaroll stated that schizophrenia appears as a combination of more factors in the brain.
For their research, DNA was collected from approximately 35,000 healthy people and 28,000 people who suffered from schizophrenia. After they analyzed the DNA samples, the researchers discovered that the people who had the C4 gene had 30% more chances of getting schizophrenia. That gene cuts way too many synapses than it is normal and in combination with some other factors in the brain the person can easily be diagnosed with the disorder.
Dr. Kenneth Kendler from the Virginia Commonwealth University said that the theory raised by this study is interesting and it could be plausible, but he believes that more research should be done in order for the theory to be claimed to be accurate.
The fact that the genetic link to schizophrenia has been found means that researchers are one step closer to finding a cure and a preventative method for schizophrenia.
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