A new study has found that the variant of a particular gene, multiple epidermal growth factor-like domains 10 or MEGF10, is associated with the heritable risk for schizophrenia.
The study, which appears in the journal Biological Psychiatry on March 1, built on a prior genetic mapping study that indicated that this gene may be associated with schizophrenia.
Dr. Xiangning Chen and colleagues found that it also appears to be expressed to a greater extent in post-mortem brain tissue from individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia.
"The significance of the paper is that it provides evidence that a gene, i.e. MEGF10, directly involved in apoptosis is found associated with schizophrenia. It has long been speculated that dysfunction of apoptosis may be a cause of schizophrenia, but there [has been] little direct evidence," he said.
Apoptosis is the biological process of programmed cell death in humans and other complex organisms. The study appears in the journal Biological Psychiatry on March 1st.