Birth complications add schizophrenia risk

January 22, 2008

U.S. scientists have identified four genes that interact with serious obstetric complications to increase the risk for schizophrenia.

National Institute of Mental Health researchers in Bethesda, Md., examined 13 genes believed to play a role in the development of schizophrenia. All of the genes also play a role in supplying blood to the brain, or are influenced by hypoxia -- a condition in which insufficient oxygen is present for proper cellular functioning.

A subset of individuals tested had experienced at least one serious obstetric complication, many having the potential to lead to hypoxia.

The researchers determined individuals who had four specific genetic variations, and who also had experienced at least one serious obstetric complication, were significantly more likely to develop schizophrenia as adults.

The study appears in the online issue of the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: The key to effectively treating mental illness—eliminate the stigma

Related Stories

Baby's genome deciphered prenatally from parents' lab tests

June 6, 2012

Scientists have successfully sequenced the genome of a baby in the womb without tapping its protective fluid sac. This non-invasive approach to obtaining the fetal genome is reported in the June 6 issue of Science Translational ...

Recommended for you

Hormone that controls maturation of fat cells discovered

October 25, 2016

Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered a hormone that controls the first step in the maturation of fat cells. Its actions help explain how high-fat diets, stress and certain steroid medications ...

The tale of the bats, dark matter and a plastic surgeon

October 25, 2016

What happens when a plastic surgeon meets a bat expert zoologist and a paleobiologist? No, it's not a strange Halloween story about spooky bat dinosaurs but rather, a story about a new discovery about bats which may unlock ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.