[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 14-Feb-2008
[ | E-mail Share Share ]

Contact: Mary Kohut
Press@plos.org
415-568-3457
Public Library of Science

A genetic variant increases the risk of developing schizophrenia in women

A complete scan of the human genome has revealed that a genetic variant in the Reelin gene increases the risk of developing schizophrenia in women only. Researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Oxford, who conducted the study in the Ashkenazi Jewish population, confirmed their findings by establishing a multinational collaboration that included populations and researchers from the United Kingdom, Ireland, United States, and China. Their research is published in the February issue of the open-access journal PLoS Genetics.

Heritability of schizophrenia has been well established through epidemiological studies in past years. However, efforts to identify the genes associated with this devastating disease, which affects about 1% of the human population, have encountered significant difficulties. Technological advances that allow the complete and efficient scanning of the entire genome present a new opportunity to address this challenge.

The authors analyzed 500,000 genetic variants distributed across the whole human genome in DNA from patients with schizophrenia and control subjects. By comparing the genomes of hundreds of patients with schizophrenia with those of healthy controls across several human populations, the researchers identified a gene that significantly increases the risk of developing the disease, but interestingly in women only.

This study represents significant progress in the study of schizophrenia with possible practical implications in the areas of disease diagnosis and drug discovery. Nevertheless, it is important to stress that these possibilities will require many years of additional research, and even then, success cannot be guaranteed.

###

PLEASE ADD THIS LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT: http://genetics.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pgen.0040028 (link will go live on Friday, February 15)

CITATION: Shifman S, Johannesson M, Bronstein M, Chen SX, Collier DA, et al. (2008) Genome-wide association identifies a common variant in the reelin gene that increases the risk of schizophrenia only in women. PLoS Genet 4(2): e28. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.0040028

CONTACT:

Dr. Sagiv Shifman
University of Oxford
Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics
44 (0) 1865 287536
sagiv@well.ox.ac.uk

Dr. Ariel Darvasi
Hebrew University
Center for Research on Pain
02 658 4303
arield@cc.huji.ac.il

Disclaimer

This press release refers to an upcoming article in PLoS Genetics. The release is provided by the article authors and/or their institutions. Any opinions expressed in this release or article are the personal views of the journal staff and/or article contributors, and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of PLoS. PLoS expressly disclaims any and all warranties and liability in connection with the information found in the releases and articles and your use of such information.

About PLoS Genetics

PLoS Genetics (http://www.plosgenetics.org) reflects the full breadth and interdisciplinary nature of genetics and genomics research by publishing outstanding original contributions in all areas of biology. All works published in PLoS Genetics are open access. Everything is immediately and freely available online throughout the world subject only to the condition that the original authorship and source are properly attributed. Copyright is retained by the authors. The Public Library of Science uses the Creative Commons Attribution License.

About the Public Library of Science

The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. For more information, visit http://www.plos.org.



[ Back to EurekAlert! ] [ | E-mail Share Share ]

 


AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert! system.