McGill researchers have identified a small region in the genome that conclusively plays a role in the development of psychiatric disease and obesity.
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.
Researchers have turned up a new clue to the workings of a possible environmental factor in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs): fathers were four times more likely than mothers to transmit tiny, spontaneous mutations to their children with the disorders. Moreover, the number of such transmitted genetic glitches increased with paternal age. The discovery may help to explain earlier evidence linking autism risk to older fathers.
New research released today in PLoS ONE could help to find new treatment options for people suffering from high anxiety disorders such as PTSD. Using mice, researchers at Rutgers have identified genetic clues which pinpoint why some are more resilient to traumatic experiences, while others are still fearful once removed from potentially dangerous situations.
Researchers have discovered a gene variant which is believed to possibly prevent against alcoholism. The gene variant, CYP2E1 appears to make people more sensitive to alcohol and can generate free radicals. Researchers consider a future application for drugs containing CYP2E1 for both making people more sensitive to alcohol prior to drinking, and to assist in the process of sobering up.
A new study suggests gene therapy might be key to treating major depression in patients who do not respond to conventional drug treatments. Researchers have discovered that the p11 gene seems to play a major role in depression. By disabling the p11 protein in mice, researchers noticed an increase in depression like symptoms. The proposed gene therapy would help restore the p11 protein within the nucleus accumbens, an area of the brain associated with feelings of reward and pleasure, in order to help reduce depression.
Researchers have discovered a link between mutations in the PTCHD1 gene on the X-chromosome and an increased risk of developing autism in boys. As males inherit both X and Y chromosomes, the genetic mutation could explain why boys are four times more likely to develop ASD than girls, who carry double X chromosomes.
Researchers in Berlin have utilized a new process to analyse all of the genes in the human genome simultaneously. The researchers analysed the genetics of three children in one family who suffer from a rare form of mental retardation, Mabry Syndrome.