Spontaneous defects in DNA may trigger schizophrenia, according to research that bolsters results of smaller studies aimed at finding the genetic causes of the disabling mental disorder.
In the largest study of its kind, international research teams found evidence that schizophrenia can be caused when genes are duplicated or deleted in an often random process that isn't inherited from parents, according to reports published today in the journals Nature and Nature Genetics. Scientists found that people with schizophrenia are more than 10 times as likely to have these rare chromosomal alterations as people who don't have the illness.
While the findings fill in parts of the puzzle of the disease, they also suggest it may be caused by a complex set of genetic flaws, which could complicate the search for effective treatments.
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