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Scientists Have Finally Found a Biological Process Behind Schizophrenia

Scientists Have Finally Found a Biological Process Behind Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a complex disease with elusive origins, but the mystery became much clearer today, when a landmark new study based on genetic analysis of nearly 65,000 individuals pinpointed a specific gene and biological process behind it. The discovery injects new hope into the century-old quest to treat— and perhaps even cure—the debilitating psychiatric disorder. Roughly one percent of the population suffers from schizophrenia, a disease characterized by hallucinations, emotional withdrawal, and a declining cognitive function, beginning in adolescence or early adulthood. Despite decades of research, we’ve made very little progress treating schizophrenia, in part, because it’s been so difficult to nail down the cause

“Since schizophrenia was first described over a century ago, its underlying biology has been a black box, in part because it has been virtually impossible to model the disorder in cells or animals” said Steven McCarroll, director of genetics at Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research. “The human genome is providing a powerful new way in to this disease.”

“Because the molecular origins of psychiatric diseases are little-understood, efforts by pharmaceutical companies to pursue new therapeutics are few and far between,” said Bruce Cuthbert, acting director of the National Institute of Mental Health “This study changes the game.”

Let's hope that publicly funded research stays ahead of Big Pharma - 

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