Genetic clue to psychosis found on chromosome 16

A common variant at 16p11.2 increases risk of psychosis, according to a report published online November 20 in Molecular Psychiatry. The results flag a single nucleotide change within a 593 kb region that has been previously linked to schizophrenia and other disorders by rare copy number variants that duplicate or delete chunks of DNA.

Read this story at Schizophrenia Research Forum.

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WCPG 2012 — Animal models for psychiatric disorders?

Though psychiatric diseases are uniquely human, they have aspects that can be fruitfully modeled in animals, according to Tuesday’s plenary speakers at the 20th World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics held in Hamburg, Germany, 14-18 October.

Read this meeting report at Schizophrenia Research Forum.

DNA damage

Disorder-specific patterns of DNA damage in neurons mark the brain in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, according to a recent study in Archives of General Psychiatry. This suggests that the cellular controls that keep the genome in good working order inside each neuron are disrupted in these mental illnesses.

Read this article at Schizophrenia Research Forum.

Spontaneous mutations linked to bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder has joined the ranks of brain disorders associated with mutations called copy number variations (CNVs) — specifically spontaneously-occurring ones — in a new study published in Neuron. The findings suggest that bipolar disorder lies on the milder end of a continuum of brain disorders that includes schizophrenia, autism, and intellectual disability.

Read this article at Schizophrenia Research Forum.