New thinking on out-of-date thinking on schizophrenia. Michael Balter @mbalter @scientificamerican

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New thinking on out-of-date thinking on schizophrenia. Michael Balter @mbalter @scientificamerican

"Schizophrenia's Unyielding Mysteries

Gene studies were supposed to reveal the disorder's roots. That didn't happen. Now scientists are broadening the search....

Massive genetic studies, it was hoped, would help discover the underlying causes of schizophrenia, a pyschiatric disorder that produces a toll in the U.S. of $60 billion annually for patient care. Research toward achieving this goal began about 10 years ago.

The findings have not lived up to their original expectations. Studies have made clear that no single gene will lead to new treatments and that the tangled genetic landscape of schizophrenia is at best a series of faint hints of what causes the illness.

The way forward will require that the field act on a mix of clues that suggest that early-life influences—such as childhood trauma and prenatal factors—exacerbate the impact of genes in elevating the risk of a diagnosis.

http://www.nature.com/scientificamerican/journal/v316/n5/full/scientificamerican0517-54.html

May 12, 06:58 AM
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