Researchers believe they have identified key genes associated with schizophrenia and propose a prototype predictive test.
These findings are not about the classic story of gift-giving, although the MAGI genes (officially named membrane associated guanylate kinase, WW and PDZ domain containing proteins) do influence brain function in important ways.
New research from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) published in Nature’s Neuropsychopharmacology has shown physical changes to exist in specific brain areas implicated in schizophrenia following the use of cannabis during adolescence. The research has shown how cannabis use during adolescence can interact with a gene, called the COMT gene, to cause physical changes in the brain.
Antidepressive drugs reduce the mortality rate of schizophrenic patients, while treatment with bensodiazepines greatly increases it, especially as regards suicide. Giving several antipsychotics simultaneously, however, seems to have no effect at all. This according to a new study examining different drug combinations administered to patients with schizophrenia.
Children who experience sever trauma are three times more likely than the counterparts to develop schizophrenia in adulthood, a new study from the University of Liverpool has discovered. It has long been considered that genetics and environmental factors play a part in the development of psychosis, but this is the first study of its kind to discover a link to early life trauma. Additionally, researchers discovered different types of trauma lead to different expression of symptoms. Those children who were sexually abused where more likely to report hallucinations later in life, while those raised in a children’s home more often exhibited paranoia.
Neuroscientists at the University of Copenhagen have developed a model which demonstrates how the brain releases dopamine. The model could provide a key insight into how the brain perceives punishment and reward. The researchers hope that their newly developed model could assist other scientists to better understand drug addiction and provide new treatments for schizophrenia.
A report from a press conference marking the 23rd ECNP Congress has pointed out a model for psychosis based on gene-environmental interactions. The report outlines significant underlying factors for the onset of Schizophrenia amongst specific demographic groups. It also suggests that genetics, in combination with environment, can be a contributory factor for psychosis.
Researchers from Temple University have discovered a link between immune proteins, produced to fight infections during pregnancy and an increased risk of schizophrenia for the child.