Schizophrenia decoded! Gene C4 found to be the main culprit in causing psychotic behavior
After years of research and speculation, Schizophrenia has been decoded. The dreaded disease has finally been linked to a gene responsible for synaptic pruning. The recently disclosed Landmark study revealed strategic results which till date have never been known before.
The successful research on the causes of schizophrenia was achieved through a mammoth analysis of findings using genetic data acquired form almost 100,000 people. The research published in ‘Nature’ magazine on January 27th was undertaken by a joint effort between scientists from the Boston Children’s Hospital and the broad institutes Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research, a branch of the Harvard Medical School. The main researchers involved were neuroscientists Steven McCarrol, Ph.D, Beth Stevens Ph.D, Michael Carroll Ph.D and Aswin Shekar, a 4th year Ph.D student at Harvard Medical School.
1 What is synaptic pruning?
Synaptic pruning is the process by which the axons of nerve cells or neurons are constantly pruned for elimination. Pruning of axons are predominant from childhood where unwanted axons are constantly eliminated paving the way for improved brain function. Just as you need to cut your hair or your nails, so it is with the physiology of your body which eliminates useless material. However sometimes, the pruning process can go awry and excess pruning has an opposite effect impairing cognitive function. Synaptic pruning continues from infancy till puberty.
2 Schizophrenia has never been decoded since its discovery 130 years ago
Till recent times, schizophrenia has periodically posed a problem for medical science as the scientists have been trying to decipher the reasons of its development. As a disease whose conditions were first observed 130 years ago, it has had devastating results. As a major and scary psychiatric disorder, schizophrenic symptoms were typically marked by spilt personality, hallucinations, altered speech patterns and severe degeneration of the brain. The condition always reared itself in youngsters from their teens to young adulthood. Decoding schizophrenia till date had never achieved success. However with the decoding of the schizophrenic black box, researchers are finally getting a clearer picture as to why the disease features a typical onset during childhood.