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Schizophrenia not a single disease but multiple genetically distinct disorders

Schizophrenia not a single disease but multiple genetically distinct disorders
New research shows that schizophrenia isn’t a single disease but a group of eight genetically distinct disorders, each with its own set of symptoms. The finding could be a first step toward improved diagnosis and treatment for the debilitating psychiatric illness. The research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is reported online Sept. 15 in The American Journal of Psychiatry. About 80 percent of the risk for schizophrenia is known to be inherited, but scientists have struggled to identify specific genes for the condition. Now, in a novel approach analyzing genetic influences on more than 4,000 people with schizophrenia, the research team has identified distinct gene clusters that contribute to eight different classes of schizophrenia. “Genes don’t operate by themselves,” said C. Robert Boston Igor Zwir, PhD, one of the senior investigators, helped match precise DNA variations in people with and without schizophrenia to symptoms in individual patients.

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