The Missing Mind Link

Schizophrenic and bipolar patients may have similar gene expressions

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(RxWiki News) Your genetic makeup can determine a lot of how life plays out for you. In the case of people who experience bipolar depression and schizophrenia, much of their gene expression is the same.  

That’s not to say people who are bipolar are also schizophrenic, but rather, their DNA expresses itself in a way that is similar to one another. 

"Both conditions can be treated with medication and therapy"

Many of the genes that are involved in causing bipolar depression and schizophrenia are credited to the GAD67 network, which is a group of genes that are also related to the brain's hippocampus. 

In order to isolate and study this group, scientists from the Harvard Brain and Tissue Resource Center studied the genes in the GAD67 network of 15 patients with schizophrenia, 15 patients with bipolar disorder and 15 healthy individuals.

Using microarrays (which are a collection of DNA spots on a solid surface) and real-time polymerase chain reactions (which are responsible for DNA duplication in order to ensure that an individual's DNA chain is healthy), researchers were able to discover that DNA duplication decreases significantly in region CA3/2, which is a sub-sector of the GAD67 network. 

The same phenomena occurred in both schizophrenic and bipolar individuals. It was not readily known if the healthy individuals showed signs of a decrease in gene duplication.

The scientists in this study believe that it’s possible to insert and delete certain genetic coding into the DNA network that’s associated with causing bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. 

Even though it may be a long way off from becoming a treatment possibility, scientists are even closer to figuring out how to target and treat the genetic anomalies that result in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.  

The study was conducted by the Harvard Brain and Tissue Resource Center and was published by the Archives of General Psychiatry on February 6, 2012.  No conflicts in funding were presented.

Last Updated:
February 28, 2012