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Gene for Schizophrenia identified

by Medindia Content Team on  January 21, 2006 at 11:37 AM Research News   - G J E 4
Gene for Schizophrenia identified
In US a team of researcher from the university of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas reported that the gene NR1 when deleted in the experimental mice resulted in memory loss similar to schizophrenia in humans.
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The mice were trained to identify food treats buried in the sand with the assistance of external clues. Then hey were injected with the viral vector, which had the ability to delete NR1 gene, which is responsible for learning and memory. After deletion the mice were unable to care out similar wok.

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The findings of the research were published in The Journal of Neuroscience.

Basically it was identified that this gene NR1 codes for a protein that is involved in the transmission of signal between the nerve cells. When experiment was conducted in humans using drugs that blocked the signal it results in a psychotic state similar to schizophrenia.

Hence the researcher Dr. Robert Greene, a professor of psychiatry conclude by saying that the mice model and the test tool that they have developed to test learning and memory would solve the mystery of schizophrenia.

But further studies are required to confirm the results of the present study. The researcher said that other studies have to be done in mice to prove that similar changes in the nearby regions of the brain involving learning and memory resulted in an analogous cognitive problem.

Also studies to prove that schizophrenic patients are affected with similar cognitive problems as that experienced with the mice. By this way we can be sure that the mice models are the best models of humans to study the effect of psychosis associated with schizophrenia.

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