Gene discovery unlocks schizophrenia clues

Using genetic samples from 36,989 schizophrenia patients and 113,075 control samples in the largest molecular genetic study of any neuropsychiatric disorder, an international team of researchers from 35 countries identified 128 variants – 83 of them new – associated with a higher risk of schizophrenia.

Professor Bryan Mowry, a clinical psychiatrist at the University of Queensland and the Queensland Brain Institute who was among the researchers involved in the study, said that while a genetic component to schizophrenia has been known for decades, identifying the genes involved has been a long process.

“One of the great potential outcomes of this work is that we are opening the door to understanding the complex biology of this condition, and in particular it opens up opportunities for novel drug treatments.”

Professor Mowry said that the variants were not randomly distributed across the genome, but converged upon genes that were