Structural brain connectivity as a genetic marker for schizophrenia

November 25, 2015
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and other brain imaging technologies allow for the study of differences in brain activity in people diagnosed with schizophrenia. The image shows two levels of the brain, with areas that were more active in healthy controls than in schizophrenia patients shown in orange, during an fMRI study of working memory. Credit: Kim J, Matthews NL, Park S./PLoS One.

Schizophrenia has been considered an illness of disrupted brain connectivity since its earliest descriptions. Several studies have suggested brain white matter is affected not only in patients with schizophrenia but also in individuals at increased risk for the disease.

Marc M. Bohlken, M.Sc., of University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands, and coauthors in JAMA Psychiatry investigated whether schizophrenia risk and integrity share common genes.

The imaging study included 70 individual twins discordant for schizophrenia (one with, one without) and 130 healthy control twins.

The authors report their analyses suggest that reductions in white matter integrity have genetic overlap with risk for schizophrenia.

"This finding suggests that genes that are relevant for (the development of) structural brain connections are partly overlapping with genes for ," the authors note.

Explore further: Schizophrenia: A disorder of neurodevelopment and accelerated aging?

More information: JAMA Psychiatry. Published online November 25, 2015. DOI: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.1925

Related Stories

Schizophrenia: A disorder of neurodevelopment and accelerated aging?

March 6, 2013
Many lines of evidence indicate that schizophrenia is a disorder of neurodevelopment. For example, genes implicated in the heritable risk for schizophrenia are also implicated in the development of nerve cells and their connections. ...

Researchers find neuroanatomical signature for schizophrenia

September 10, 2015
While it is known that the incidence and outward symptoms of schizophrenia are strongly influenced by ethnic factors—for instance, patients from Asian ethnicities are more likely to experience visual hallucinations, whereas ...

Schizophrenia and cannabis use may share common genes

June 24, 2014
Genes that increase the risk of developing schizophrenia may also increase the likelihood of using cannabis, according to a new study led by King's College London, published today in Molecular Psychiatry.

Scientists may have found 'marker' for schizophrenia

August 12, 2015
(HealthDay)—Brain irregularities are present before a person develops schizophrenia, researchers report.

Schizophrenic brains take indirect paths

November 24, 2014
Analysis of the structural connectivity in the brains of 16 schizophrenia patients reveals several zones affected by the disease and their reduced network connectivity.

How a risk gene for schizophrenia affects the brain

May 25, 2015
Scientists have for the first time shown how the disruption of a key gene involved in mental illness impacts on the brain.

Recommended for you

How the shape and size of your face relates to your sexuality

September 19, 2017
Men and women with shorter, wider faces tend to be more sexually motivated and to have a stronger sex drive than those with faces of other dimensions. These are the findings from a study led by Steven Arnocky of Nipissing ...

Behavioral therapy increases connectivity in brains of people with OCD

September 19, 2017
UCLA researchers report that people with obsessive-compulsive disorder, when treated with a special form of talk therapy, demonstrate distinct changes in their brains as well as improvement in their symptoms.

Cognitive scientists find that people can more easily communicate warmer colors than cool ones

September 18, 2017
The human eye can perceive millions of different colors, but the number of categories human languages use to group those colors is much smaller. Some languages use as few as three color categories (words corresponding to ...

Why bad sleep doesn't always lead to depression

September 18, 2017
Poor sleep is both a risk factor, and a common symptom, of depression. But not everyone who tosses and turns at night becomes depressed.

People with schizophrenia have threefold risk of dying

September 18, 2017
People with schizophrenia are three times more likely to die, and die younger, than the general population, indicating a need for solutions to narrow this gap, according to research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association ...

Happiness is not determined by childhood biomarkers

September 18, 2017
Happiness is not determined by childhood biological markers such as height or body fat, according to a team of European researchers involving UCL.

0 comments

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.