Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder genetically linked

I read an interesting article in the paper at Lunchtime.  The Independent was carrying the headline Unlocked: the secrets of schizophrenia on the front page.

The article detailed the findings of a recent report which suggests that there is a “…remarkable similarity between the genetic faults behind both schizophrenia and manic depression…”  Up until now the two conditions have thought not to be related, but now these findings could lead to new treatments for both conditions.

The “new research shows for the first time that both have a common genetic basis that leads people to develop one or other of the two illnesses.”

Thomas Insel, director of the US National Institute for Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, which part-funded the studies said “If some of the same genetic risks underlie schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, perhaps these disorders originate from some common vulnerability in brain development… Of course the big question then is how some people develop schizophrenia and others develop bipolar disorder.”

The full article in the Independent can be read here.

This is some really exciting research in the field of Psychiatry that could revolutionise the way doctors treat both Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia, both of which are psychiatric conditions that can ruin the life of those suffering from the conditions.

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