The exact cause of schizophrenia, a complex psychiatric disorder, has baffled researchers. However, a team of researchers led by Andrew Pocklington from Cardiff University’s Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics has made headway into understanding its root cause. Building on their previous research that linked schizophrenia mutations to neuronal excitatory and inhibitory signaling in the brain, they compared the genetic data from 11,355 schizophrenia patients and 16,416 healthy controls, and discovered that the inhibitory signaling led to disruption of the brain’s chemical balance, which is the genesis of the disorder. According to the team, they have found “a pretty sizeable piece of the jigsaw puzzle” that will help them develop a coherent model of the disease. This understanding of how exactly genetic mutations cause schizophrenia can prove useful in predicting an individual’s predisposition to developing the disorder.
Read more in The Scientist.