Other Disorders

8 Genetically Distinct Disorders Linked to Schizophrenia

Recent findings conducted by a team of researchers at Washington University of School of Medicine now suggest that schizophrenia can be linked to eight genetically distinct disorders that have their own unique symptoms.

“Genes don’t operate by themselves. They function in concert much like an orchestra, and to understand how they’re working, you have to know not just who the members of the orchestra are but how they interact,” said C. Robert Cloninger, MD, PhD, one of the study’s senior investigators, in a news release. “What we’ve done here, after a decade of frustration in the field of psychiatric genetics, is identify the way genes interact with each other, how the ‘orchestra’ is either harmonious and leads to health, or disorganized in ways that lead to distinct classes of schizophrenia.”

For the study, researchers analyzed DNA variations in 4,200 people diagnosed with this chronic mental disorder that’s characterized by difficulties differentiating between reality and fantasy, and in 3,800 people without the health issue. The team matched the DNA variations in people with and without the disease that acted as the control group.
Findings matched the DNA variations in people with and without the disease to various symptoms that showed up in each individual patient, totaling roughly 700,000 sites in the genome where one unit of DNA is changed, which is often called a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP).

Findings revealed that how a group of genetic variations were clustered together ultimately determined people’s risk of schizophrenia. For instance, those with speech and behavioral symptoms often had genetic variations that were 100 percent in favor of the health issue. Overall, the team identified 42 genetic variation clusters that increased people’s risk of schizophrenia.

More information regarding the findings can be seen via the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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  • Randi Kreger

    Just a question. When you reprint the entire article of something from a different website, why give “read the article” at the end? It seems to imply there is more information when there isn’t. (I leave it to you to decide whether it’s ethical to link to the article at the bottom rather than somewhere in the beginning so the original site gets the clicks.) I don’t mean to be fussy because I admire your work, but I am a blogger at Psychology Today and am constantly finding people who take my entire content and put the link down to the bottom and I lose the click. Plus, you coming up with your own original material instead of using someone else’s will improve your SEO.

  • Bon Dobbs


    Good question. I don’t typically put an entire article on my blog. I did it this time because the article was very short and I was being lazy. It really has nothing to do with SEO or anything like that. I’m not concerned with SEO for the most part. I know you’re a blogger at Psychology Today and I don’t (usually) include more than an excerpt of about 100-200 words of an external article with a “read the entire article” link. This time I suppose I was lazy.


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