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Hints about schizophrenia emerge from genetic study

Dozens of DNA changes may underlie troubling mental disorder

12:43pm, July 22, 2014

By combing through the genomes of over 30,000 people with schizophrenia, scientists have found more than 100 stretches of DNA that may raise a person’s risk of the disorder. Although it’s the largest genetic investigation of a psychiatric disorder, the study provides only clues to the disease’s origins — not answers.

The mega-analysis, published July 22 in Nature, is an important and necessary step toward developing new treatments for schizophrenia, says study coauthor Michael O’Donovan, a psychiatrist at the Cardiff University School of Medicine in Wales. But the heart of the disorder is still a mystery. “People shouldn’t be phoning up their doctors tomorrow and saying, ‘What’s this stuff done for treatment?’ That’s going to take years to filter through,” he says.

About 1 percent of Americans have schizophrenia, a disorder marked by hallucinations, paranoia and dysfunctional ways of

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