We’re a step closer to understanding the causes of schizophrenia.
Researchers from the US, Sweden, Finland and the UK studied almost 15,000 people with and without the mental disorder. They isolated a single risk gene that appears unique to people with schizophrenia.
The gene is known as SETD1A but the study’s authors say it’s not yet possible to say it causes the disorder. At the very least, it’s likely to be a contributing factor. The same faulty gene has been linked to a variety of other neurological problems meaning there could be a shared biological pathway.
The breakthrough raises the possibilities of new treatments. With the gene identified, therapy could be developed to specifically target the fault. The researchers hope such a treatment could reduce some or even all of the symptoms.