Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, says that genomics has been an "area of unambiguous progress" for schizophrenia research during the last few years. At his blog, Insel highlights how genomics researchers have identified several genes associated with schizophrenia risk, which are "not the usual suspects," he says. Rare variants associated with the disorder may also have a considerable impact on future research, he suggests. "These rare events may explain only a small fraction of cases, but as with hypertension and cancer, even rare mutations that cause disease can yield important clues to the pathophysiology underlying more common forms of disease," Insel says. Though throughout the "past century, schizophrenia has been defined by psychosis," he credits genomics researchers for reinforcing the "importance of reconceptualizing schizophrenia as a neurodevelopmental disorder."
Strides for Schizophrenia Research
Nov 17, 2010