Genetic factors play significant role in almost all diseases, which can occur in human's body.
Mental disorders were found to have close link with changes in the genes too. It was scientifically proved that most of these illnesses run in families.
However exact reasons for most of them are still not well-understood.
Recent research has shown that mental health problems, like major depression, schizophrenia, autism ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) and bipolar disorder, which seem to be different from each other, in reality have something in common.
The study was conducted by scientists from 19 countries, who created the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. They analyzed DNA of 33000 patients with these five mental issues and 28000 people without psychiatric diagnosis.
DNA is made up of chain of molecules (nucleotides), which can form particular variants, called single-nucleotide polymorphism. Some of these SNPs can significantly impact on person's health.
Analysis found that in the group of people with mental disorders, genetic code contains similar variations in four areas. These DNA changes are associated with higher risks of developing schizophrenia, ADHD, depression or bipolar disorder.
Two of illness-related genes were involved into regulation of calcium flow in and out of neurons (brain cells). This may influence on delivery of the signals between the cells.
Researchers also found that overlap is the most obvious between schizophrenia, depression and bipolar disorder. Autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder were recognized to have some link too, but not as strong.
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Dr.Smoller, who led this ground-breaking investigation, says that each of genetic variants individually are accounted only for small amount of risk for mental disturbances.
Even though, study doesn’t give ability to predict mental health illnesses or explain their development, it is a really progressive step in understanding the nature of these disorders. This may eventually boost progress in medicine, helping create new drugs and methods to treat mental conditions.
In addition to this, results can also promote modification of diagnostic classification, according to disease cause.
Nowadays there is scientific proof that genetic abnormalities together with environmental factors underpin development and progression of schizophrenia, autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and other mental disorders.
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