Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Analysis of genetic repeats suggests role for DNA instability in schizophrenia

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today.  "An international research team has revealed extensive genetic variation in patients with schizophrenia. Significantly more copy number variations (CNVs) of genomic DNA were detected in patients than in controls. Patients also showed different disease severity, which appears associated with the CNVs' number and variable expressivity. These findings enabled the researchers to propose a genetic model of schizophrenia in which genomic instability underlies disease development. Variations in the number of DNA sequence repeats are known to exist between individuals. Some of these copy number variations (CNVs) are associated with disease, as with schizophrenia, wherein rare CNVs on chromosomes, including 1, 15, 16, and 22, are more common among patients than among controls. However, previous studies have not fully investigated the effect of particular CNVs, especially those on the X chromosome, on patient characteristics. Nor have they examined the genes responsible for CNVs in schizophrenia, which would aid understanding of disease development." I hope this study does not take to long I sure would like to know before I die what caused this disease with me.  I am always watching my grand kids hoping I did not pass this disease on.
The article goes on to say: "An international research team centered at Nagoya University has now used a technique based on DNA fragments labeled with different fluorescent markers to reveal high levels of genetic heterogeneity (whereby several different genetic defects can cause the same symptoms) in schizophrenia. They also observed that the CNVs associated with schizophrenia affected gene categories controlling repair of DNA damage, which may underlie disease mechanisms. The study was reported in the Springer Nature journal Molecular Psychiatry. The technique the researchers used was more sensitive and of a higher resolution than previous methods. This allowed detection of more CNVs, especially small ones, which accounted for 70% of all CNVs. Significantly more clinically important CNVs were seen in the DNA of 1,699 patients with schizophrenia than in the 824 control individuals, while abnormal numbers of X chromosomes were also associated with disease. High genetic heterogeneity was revealed by the detection of these CNVs at 67 different regions in 9% of patients. Further variation was observed in the effect of the CNVs on patient characteristics in that some CNVs were carried by controls without causing any symptoms." Without causing symptoms.  There has only been one other person in my family that had a mental illness and he is a second cousin. I do not have it bad. I went to college and have a good job. Although it always lingers why.  Why did I have to spend five years in the state hospital.  Why I had finally had my life in order except for the drinking.
The article ends: "'Patients with clinically important CNVs showed a range of characteristics, such as developmental problems and refusal to accept treatment,' first author Itaru Kushima says. 'And, the presence of two CNVs resulted in a more severe phenotype.' The researchers looked closely at the genetic regions containing CNVs to identify several gene categories associated with schizophrenia that may be affected by genetic disturbance. These include oxidative stress response, which leads to DNA damage when imbalanced, and genomic integrity, involving DNA repair and replication.
'We propose that CNVs affecting oxidative stress response and genomic integrity lead to genomic instability that may cause further CNVs," corresponding author Norio Ozaki says. "This model helps explain the new CNVs seen in previous studies on schizophrenia, as well as the differences in affected patients' phenotypes.'" I do not know although this is the first study I am excited about with DNA I think they can figure this out,  I just hope so!

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