Mutations that influence bipolar disorder, schizophrenia identified

By sequencing the exome (the part of the genome composed of exons that gets translated into proteins) of 32 people from eight families who suffer from mental illness such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and psychosis, Bengaluru-based researchers have identified 42 rare mutations in the genes implicated in very severe mental disorders.Mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and psychosis have nearly 80% chances of heritability, which indicates a genetic component. However, variations in a single gene cannot account for the manifestation of the disease. “So we adopted an approach to maximise the potential to identify the genetic components that influence the disease. This we did by studying the members of the same family who have the disease,” says Dr. Odity Mukherjee from Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine (inStem), Bengaluru and corresponding author of a paper published in the journal Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences.

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