Researchers uncover molecular mechanisms linked to autism and schizophrenia

ScienceDaily | 12/15/2018 | Staff
moni (Posted by) Level 3
In the new papers published in Science, UCLA researchers and collaborators from more than a dozen institutions from around the world provide the largest-ever datasets on the molecular workings of the brain. The findings provide a roadmap for development of a new generation of therapies for psychiatric conditions.

"This work provides several missing links necessary for understanding the mechanisms of psychiatric diseases," said Dr. Daniel Geschwind, a senior author on two of the new papers, and the Gordon and Virginia MacDonald Distinguished Professor of Human Genetics in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Institutions - Papers - University - California - San

Other institutions collaborating on the new papers include University of California, San Diego; the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Yale University, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; University of Chicago, Duke University, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, SUNY Upstate Medical University, and Central South University in China.

During the last decade, scientists have conducted genetic studies of people with psychiatric diseases, comparing the results to healthy individuals to find genes that have different sequences in those with disease. Often, however, their findings led to more questions than answers. Scientists not only discovered genes linked to the diseases, they also uncovered hundreds of areas of DNA found in between genes, called regulatory DNA, that also seemed to have an association.

Scientists - Sections - DNA - Genes - Ways

Scientists know these sections of DNA can control when, where and how genes are turned on and off in many ways. However, figuring out which "regulatory regions" affect which genes -- and therefore the RNA and proteins encoded by the genes -- is not straightforward.

In 2015, researchers at 15 institutions around the country, including UCLA, came together in the PsychENCODE Consortium to study in more detail the brain's regulatory DNA. An earlier project, known as ENCODE, already had uncovered the roles sections of regulatory DNA, but it was...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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