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Archive for the ‘Genetics’ Category

bpThe UK’s Telegraph (http://tinyurl.com/child-bipolar-gene 11/12, Devlin) reported that, according to a study of nearly 300 children published in the journal BMC Psychiatry, researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine have discovered that “four different variants in” the RORB gene, which “disrupts the body’s natural internal clock,” were “strongly linked to” bipolar disorder. Study leader Alexander Niculescu, from Indiana University School of Medicine, in Indianapolis, said, “Our findings suggest that clock genes in general and RORB in particular may be important candidates for further investigation in the search for the molecular basis of bipolar disorder.”

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dnaMutations in the dystrobrevin binding protein 1 gene (DTNBP1), which has been known to be associated with schizophrenia, may also be associated with bipolar disorder (http://tinyurl.com/DTNBP1).   There has always been a suspicion that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder may have a common genetic cause.   The DTNBP1 gene is a potential genetic link between the two disorders.  The gene codes for dystrobrevin binding protein 1. 

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dnaMedwire (10/23, Davenport) reports, “Disrupted in schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) gene variants play a role in the development of psychiatric illness yet there is significant heterogeneity in clinically relevant variants between populations,” according to a study  (http://tinyurl.com/DISC1-gene) in Molecular Psychiatry. “Although schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder (BD), major depression, autism, and Asperger syndrome have all been linked to DISC1, no actual causal variants have been identified.” But, after genotyping study participants “for the presence of 75 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the translin-associated protein X and DISC1 genes,” investigators discovered that “rs1538979 SNP was significantly associated with BD I males” and “the rs821577 SNP was significantly linked with BD females…at odds ratios of 2.73 and 1.64, respectively.”

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chromosome 1MedWire (10/14, Czyzewski) reports that, according to a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, patients with schizophrenia “who have particularly severe negative symptoms appear to share a genetic vulnerability at chromosome 1q.” Researchers from Australia’s Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research “performed genetic analysis of 1,236 Han Chinese individuals with a DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia who were members of a large affected sibling-pair sample,” using “latent class (LC) analysis to stratify patients into subgroups.” The team found that a condition “resembling deficit schizophrenia” was “significantly linked to chromosome 1q23-25 with a” logarithm of odds “score of 3.78.”

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chromosome 5HealthDay (10/7, Preidt) reported that, according to research published Oct. 8 in the journal Nature, researchers from Harvard University’s Broad Institute say they have identified “new genes and genomic regions that might be associated with autism.” Specifically, the team has “identified a single-letter change on chromosome 5 near a gene called semaphorin 5A, which is believed to help guide the growth of neurons and…axons.” This gene’s activity seems “to be reduced in the brains of people with autism.” By analyzing “DNA from people with autism,” the investigators “also found a possible link between autism and parts of chromosomes 6 and 20.”

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dnaThe Columbus Dispatch (9/29, Hunt) reported, “Ohio State University Medical Center will offer 2,000 central Ohioans a detailed look at their own DNA and possible risks for health problems, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.” Scientists “will sequence the DNA contained in the sample and look for markers that show a risk for heart problems, age-related blindness, diabetes and prostate, colon and skin cancers,” aiming to “see whether the information contained in a genetic screening can help people avoid potential diseases and live longer, healthier lives.” Notably, the “tests are part of a years-long national health study that OSU researchers will conduct with the New Jersey-based Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaborative.”

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