Health

Scientists identify new genes responsible for four serious mental illnesses

ANI | May 14, 2019 09:27 AM
Representative image

New Delhi [India], May 14 (ANI): While mental health still remains a taboo as far as mainstream discussions are concerned, researchers are constantly trying to zero down every possible root cause of it.

A recent study has identified 70 previously unknown genes that contribute to people developing serious mental health disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

As part of the study, a team of Australian researchers identified how the activity or expression of those 70 new genes, and 261 other genes that were already linked to mental illnesses, increased the disease risk.

"In this study, we are homing in on the biological causes of these mental illnesses," said Eske Derks, a lead researcher of the study published in the Journal Nature Genetics.

The study was led by the head of QIMR Berghofer's Translational Neurogenomics Group in collaboration with scientists from Vanderbilt University and the University of Amsterdam.

The researchers examined data from tens of thousands of people collected from four separate studies into schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and ADHD and compared it to information from hundreds of thousands of healthy controls who were classified as not having mental illnesses.

"For schizophrenia, for example, we looked at the genetic data from about 40,000 patients and compared it to data from about 65,000 control samples from people without the disorder," Derks asserted.

"Through this process, we identified 275 genes whose activity levels contribute to the risk of schizophrenia, 13 genes whose expression is associated with bipolar disorder, 31 genes involved in depression and 12 for ADHD. We can now conduct follow up tests of those particular genes," she added.

The study also looked at the DNA and gene activity, or expression, in the brain, colon, adrenal gland and whole blood tissue samples from 700 deceased donors who had not been diagnosed with psychiatric disorders during their lives, to gain an understanding of where in the body the gene activity was taking place.

"This study narrows the field on which genes contribute to these four serious mental disorders. Recent studies have found associations between the disorders and large regions of the genome, but they didn't reveal which particular genes were responsible or how the genes' activity affected the risk of developing a mental illness," Derks explained.

"We pinpointed a smaller set of genes and looked at how much their level of expression in different tissues such as the brain, colon, adrenal gland, and blood, contributed to symptoms," she added.

Derks claimed that this study provides more evidence about the genetic basis of these diseases and by better understanding the biology of the genes, attention can be diverted to finding the best drugs or treatments to manage them. (ANI)

Have something to say? Post your comment
Must Read
Delhi HC adjourns hearing on plea against triple talaq law
Delhi HC adjourns hearing on plea against triple talaq law
Wrong decisions in J and K should be reversed, political leaders released  Azad
Wrong decisions in J and K should be reversed, political leaders released Azad
Floods in Punjab, a man made calamity, political leadership to be blamed: Khaira
Floods in Punjab, a man made calamity, political leadership to be blamed: Khaira
Punjab CM announces Rs 100 crore support for flood-hit areas
Punjab CM announces Rs 100 crore support for flood-hit areas
Sukhbir’s lies on Rajiv a conspiracy to incite & divide Sikhs, says Capt Amarinder
Sukhbir’s lies on Rajiv a conspiracy to incite & divide Sikhs, says Capt Amarinder
Medical Education and Research Department invites applications for 40 vacancies of professors
Medical Education and Research Department invites applications for 40 vacancies of professors
FDP organised on Effective Teaching learning and Research Writing Methodology at Innocent Hearts Group of Institutions
FDP organised on Effective Teaching learning and Research Writing Methodology at Innocent Hearts Group of Institutions
New education policy poses threat to Multicultural, Multilingual & Multiracial society of country: Tript Bajwa
New education policy poses threat to Multicultural, Multilingual & Multiracial society of country: Tript Bajwa
Successive governments responsible for loss of life and property in Punjab due to floods: Bhagwant Mann
Successive governments responsible for loss of life and property in Punjab due to floods: Bhagwant Mann
Indonesian Students visited LPU to study Digital Marketing
Indonesian Students visited LPU to study Digital Marketing
Sarkaria takes stock of flood like situation in Ropar and Phillaur
Sarkaria takes stock of flood like situation in Ropar and Phillaur
Department of Journalism marks World Photography Day at CT Group
Department of Journalism marks World Photography Day at CT Group