Skip to comments.Scientists find gene linked to schizophrenia (and to autism)
Posted on 04/12/2010 12:45:42 PM PDT by decimon
New study led by University of Montreal scientists identifies genetic association
This release is available in French.
Montreal, April 12, 2010 An international study led by Université de Montréal scientists suggests that gene mutations may predispose some individuals to schizophrenia and provides new clues about the causes of this ambiguous disorder. Published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the findings demonstrate that new mutations in the SHANK3 gene are found in schizophrenic patients.
"That these de novo or new mutations occur in schizophrenia is rather unexpected and may explain why the identification of the genes linked to this disease has been so difficult," says senior author Guy Rouleau, a Université de Montréal professor, director of the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Center and a scientist at the Research Centre of the Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal.
"Our findings show that a significant number of schizophrenia cases are the result of new genetic mutations in the SHANK3 gene. Where previous approaches have failed, our detailed analyses and rich patient database led us to this discovery. We are convinced that future studies will validate the SHANK3 gene as a marker for schizophrenia," continues Dr. Rouleau, who is Canada Research Chair in Genetics of the Nervous System.
Autism and schizophrenia link
"The SHANK3 gene has previously been linked to autism," adds lead author Julie Gauthier, a Université de Montréal researcher. "Not only does this suggest a molecular genetic link between these two neurodevelopmental disorders, it suggests that SHANK3 may have a role in other brain disorders."
SHANK3 is protein involved in maintaining the physical structure of nerve cells. Mutations in this gene result in specific abnormalities in cell shapes. These deformations have been observed in some schizophrenia patients, providing further evidence of the importance of the SHANK3 gene in this disorder.
These findings were made possible through the collaboration of several institutions such as the Harvard Medical School, McGill University and the Université Paris Descartes; please read on for complete list of funders and partners.
Affecting approximately one percent of the population, schizophrenia is a chronic psychiatric disorder characterized by disturbances in thinking, behaviour and emotion. Symptoms include delusions, hallucinations and withdrawal from social activity.
Partners in research:
This study was funded by Genome Canada, Génome Québec, the Université de Montréal and the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
About the study:
The article, "De novo mutations in the gene encoding the synaptic scaffolding protein SHANK3 in patients ascertained for schizophrenia," was coauthored by Julie Gauthier, Nathalie Champagne, Edna Brustein, Mathieu Lapointe, Huashan Peng, Marie-Pierre Dubé, Pierre Drapeau, Philip Awadalla and Guy Rouleau of the Université de Montréal, Fadi F. Hamdan and Mark E. Samuels of the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Center; Eric A. Stone of North Carolina State University; Philip A. Barker of the Montreal Neurological Institute; Anjené M. Addington and Judith L. Rapoport of the National Institute of Mental Health; Lynn E. DeLisi of the Harvard Medical School; Marie-Odile Krebs and Fayçal Mouaffak of the Université Paris Descartes; Ferid Fathalli, Ali P. Haghighi and Salvatore Carbonetto of McGill University / McGill University Health Centre; Ridha Joober of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute; Christian Néri of the Centre Paul Broca / INSERM.
Note to editors:
The Université de Montréal name can be adapted to University of Montreal (but never Montreal University).
On the Web:
About the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: www.pnas.org About the Université de Montréal: www.umontreal.ca/english About the Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal : www.crchum.qc.ca About the Sainte-Justine Hospital Research Center: www.recherche-sainte-justine.qc.ca/en
Well, I’m of two minds about that.
So it isn’t the vaccines. It never was, as I expected. I feel for parents of Autistic Kids, but they need to stop trying to find a scapegoat. It is in the Genes. Not a big pharma problem.
Double your pleasure - double your fun.
I wouldn’t go to that conclusion. Especially since we’ve seen stories posted recently about how things that people take into their bodies can turn genes on or off.
Yes there may be a genetic component that has to be present in a person, but if mercury, thimerosal, synthetic squalene, etc triggers those autism genes in those people, you can’t just say “It’s genetic”, if they never had the vaccines the trigger would never have been pulled.
There is no lawyer money in genes, while there is in Big Pharma. With the National Vaccine Injury Program precluding a revenue stream to lawyers, something had to take the place of the previous tort dollar flow, and the thimerosal issue was perfect (except for the supporting evidence part).
As my state’s coordinator for the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ (NAMI) Family to Family education program, allow me to be so bold as to suggest that there is nothing funny about serious mental illness. This is a very interesting study and it is my hope that it might lead someday to more effective treatments for those and their families affected by these devastating brain disorders.
While there may be a genetic component to some cases of schizophrenia, it can also come about by chemical imbalence (naturally occurring or induced by drug use/abuse).
Just one gene?
That’s fine, but this isn’t really a serious brain disorder forum, is it.
I think the clue is in the survey of the Amish of PA. Their autism rate is 1 per 15000 while everyone else in the neighborhood is about 1 per 150. Amish do not eat processed foods and immunize their kids like we do. However recently some Amish families will immunize their kids for certain severe diseases. We shall see if there is any changes to their very low autism rate. IMHO it is not the mercury in the shots, I think it is the interaction of all the side effects of the shots pumped into a small toddler and child in a very short period of time. New studies show that the Gulf War Syndrome may have been caused by immunizing our soldiers all in one day before deployment The same theory can be applied to autism and potential relationship to immunization. Theory needs to be studied and right now Big Pharma is not going to fund or allow such studies to preclude the possiblility of lawsuits.
Too much liberal inbreeding.....
Correlation does not equal causation. Correlation studies simply are not sound science. Just because the Amish have lower rates of autism and don’t immunize their kids does not mean that immunizations cause autism.
These same genes cause liberalism too.
Scientists find half a gene linked to schizophrenia in Half-Brain Obummer
RE: “While there may be a genetic component to some cases of schizophrenia, it can also come about by chemical imbalence (naturally occurring or induced by drug use/abuse).”
What about alcoholism? Can booze, like other drugs, cause those same chemical imbalances resulting in conditions like schizophrenia?
Asperger’s (Autistic Spectrum) is a physical disorder. It is transmitted by heredity (my family has 3 living members with it). It is an abnormal sensitivity to some things. The things vary.
Crypto Sensitivity Syndrone http://www.backlash.com/content/disab/2003/rvm1203.html
In the case of my family the hidden component is improper digestion of milk products creating a protein fragment that affects brain sensors.
It is known that synthetic squalene is a problem for many people. Your own body produces it but recognizes it as its own. The synthetic squalene in vaccines however can trigger your immune system to start attacking it, and can lead to it attacking your own body-produced squalene. The anthrax vaccines the military has had have made a lot of pilots lose their flight status. Disabled a lot of military folks, and these cases the problems can be traced back as starting right after these vaccines.
Alcohol like any ingested substance, has the ability to turn on and off genes in your body. Further alcohol has the ability to damage dna as well.
Even with the connected genes, chemicals can turn genes on and off, even chemicals like thermosil.
I agree. But no one has seriously looked at why the Amish has such a low rate vs neighboring non Amish by a factor of 1000. Both do have very different lifestyles and the autism rate is very pronounced. The other tibit is Somalian refugees settling in the US who never had autism in their family living in African villages suddenly within the first generation born is exhibiting autism rates similar to local Americans. Many of these refugees come from rural villages where vaccines are not as numerous as pre school kids and diet is very different from urban/suburban Americans. Granted that without looking at the events closely one cannot jump to conclusions, but someone needs to do a scientific study on why such disparities.
My mother, daughter, son and I are all Celiacs. My son is the only one of us who has Type one diabetes. My mother and I have hypothyroidism.
The genes are like having baking soda in a bowl. It won’t fuzz until you add the vinegar. Until then, it remains inert.
If one has the gene for autism, diabetes, cancer, etc, you may or may not have that gene activated by an environmental trigger.
You're right, Secret - it could be something like a threshold effect...
And given the fact that the vaccine schedule for these kids today has SO many more shots on it than even 20 years ago, those kids’ immune systems are hammered.
And don’t forget the doctors who are out there talking about how this is not the way to go about ramping up antibodies, by bypassing the skins’ defenses and such, but injecting this directly into the body. Plus combining three vaccines in one shot (MMR) that a lot of kids have real problems with. There’s nothing natural about the exposure when it’s injected. It bypasses normal defense mechanisms.
The only vaccines I’d take nowadays are for tetanus and rabies. Any of them used on an emergency basis.
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