Friday, February 9, 2007

Gene Variant that Optimizes Thinking but Increases Risk of Schizophrenia Identified by NIMH

Yet another instance where genius and madness are closer than we think.

"To understand DARPP-32s role in the human brain, the NIMH researchers used genetic, structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging, and post-mortem techniques to identify the human gene's variants and their functional consequences. Seventy five percent of subjects had the most common version of the gene, which boosted circuit activation, structural and functional connectivity and performance on thinking tasks, likely by increasing gene expression. In 257 affected families, people with schizophrenia were more likely to have this common version of the DARPP-32 gene."

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