Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

A new analysis suggests that schizophrenia may be caused by an interaction of genes and viruses in glia cells

July 25, 2002

A report in the open access journal BMC Psychiatry presents a new hypothesis that may explain the causes of the psychiatric disease, schizophrenia. The hypothesis hinges on glia, a special type of cell, which is important for the maintenance of the connections between brain cells. By re-examining previously published research the authors suggest that schizophrenia may be caused by a combination of defective genes, which result in deficiencies of a variety of growth factors in glia, and infection by viruses, which may further weaken the glia. They conclude that this "weakening" of glia may result in the breakdown of connections between different brain cells leading to the development of schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is a severe disabling psychiatric disease, which affects approximately 1 percent of the population. People with schizophrenia often suffer terrifying symptoms such as hearing internal voices, feelings of extreme paranoia and an inability to distinguish reality from fantasy. It is clear that schizophrenia has a strong genetic component, however analysis of individual genes alone will not give us a full understanding the causes of schizophrenia.

Irving Gottesman, one of the authors of this paper and originator of the now widely accepted polygenic model of schizophrenia explains,

"The investigation of individual genes in isolation has its limitations since virtually all important biological phenomena, from normal brain functioning to schizophrenia, are the result of complex systems. What is needed is a systems approach for understanding the development of schizophrenia."

This insight motivated Gottesman, and his colleagues Hans Moises and Tomas Zoega, to apply such an approach to previously published results of schizophrenia research.

Human brains are made up of two main types of cells, nerve cells, which carry electrical impulses around the brain and glia, which are important for the normal development of the brain in the young and the maintenance of nerve connections in adults. The authors argue that many of the genes implicated in the development of schizophrenia code for factors involved in the development of glia cells. In addition they hypothesize that some viral infections may cause additional weakening of glial cells, which in turn may lead to the disruption of brain cell connections and the development of schizophrenia.

"Epidemiological data indicate that all humans must harbor viruses in the glial cells of their brains, and since reproduction is a necessity for these viruses to survive, it seems reasonable to presume that they are reproducing at low levels in glial cells and that this results in an additional weakening of glial functioning", explains Moises.

This new provocative hypothesis bridges the gap between several previously unrelated schizophrenia hypotheses, most notably the genetic, the neurodevelopmental and the virus hypotheses, thereby providing a unifying explanation for the development of schizophrenia. It is hoped that by testing this hypothesis in the laboratory, researchers will come up with new ways of treating this debilitating brain disease.


The new hypothesis is freely available in the peer-reviewed open access journal BMC Psychiatry - http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-244X/2/8/

BioMed Central Limited


Related Schizophrenia Current Events and Schizophrenia News Articles


Non-motor microtubule-associated protein in maintaining synaptic plasticity
NMDA glutamate receptors, which function as receptors that bond with glutamates, are known to be deeply involved in animal memory and learning.

No genetic link between smaller subcortical brain volumes and risk for schizophrenia
There is no evidence of genetic overlap between risk for schizophrenia and brain volume measures, according to researchers in a global study that examined the genes that drive the development of schizophrenia.

Scientists discover molecular link between psychiatric disorders and type 2 diabetes
There may be a genetic connection between some mental health disorders and type 2 diabetes. In a new report appearing in the February 2016 issue of The FASEB Journal, scientists show that a gene called "DISC1," which is believed to play a role in mental health disorders, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and some forms of depression, influences the function of pancreatic beta cells which produce insulin to maintain normal blood glucose levels.

Brain formation pattern shows why early trauma may leave no clues
Some of the earliest nerve cells to develop in the womb shape brain circuits that process sights and sounds, but then give way to mature networks that convert this sensory information into thoughts.

VUMC study may offer answers for treating depression in alcoholics
A study by researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center is offering a glimmer of hope to alcoholics who find it hard to remain sober because their abstinence is hounded by stubborn, difficult-to-treat depression.

The brains of patients with schizophrenia vary depending on the type of schizophrenia
An international team, made up of researchers from the University of Granada, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of South Florida, has linked the symptoms of schizophrenia with the anatomical characteristics of the brain, by employing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Schizophrenia's strongest known genetic risk deconstructed
Versions of a gene linked to schizophrenia may trigger runaway pruning of the teenage brain's still-maturing communications infrastructure, NIH-funded researchers have discovered.

Gene study points towards therapies for common brain disorders
Scientists have pinpointed the cells that are likely to trigger common brain disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, Multiple Sclerosis and intellectual disabilities.

Discovery of consoling behavior in prairie voles may benefit autism researh
Researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, have discovered that a social laboratory rodent, the prairie vole, shows an empathy-based consoling response when other voles are distressed.

Computer modeling provides insight into cellular-level effects of schizophrenia risk genes
Numerous genetic variants associated with risk for schizophrenia have been identified. However, little is known about how these genes have their effects in the brain.
More Schizophrenia Current Events and Schizophrenia News Articles

Schizophrenia: Understanding Symptoms Diagnosis & Treatment

Schizophrenia: Understanding Symptoms Diagnosis & Treatment
by Anthony Wilkenson (Author)


Schizophrenia has become a recognized psychotic disorder in modern day psychology and research has shown that 1 in 100 people suffer from this disease in some proportion or degree. It is a dreaded disease and comes as a near death blow to those who are diagnosed with this condition. This fear does not necessarily arise from the scary disease it actually is, but various misconceptions, myths and misunderstanding that surround it. This disorder has been very thoroughly misunderstood and misrepresented. As a result, there is great confusion and stigma attached to it. This stigma, social pressure, and public opinion have made it very difficult to get the disorder diagnosed, treated or managed. Persons suffering from schizophrenia or under a risk of being affected by it are very insecure due...

Surviving Schizophrenia, 6th Edition: A Family Manual

Surviving Schizophrenia, 6th Edition: A Family Manual
by E. Fuller Torrey (Author)


Updated throughout and filled with all the latest research, the bestselling Surviving Schizophrenia is back, now in its sixth edition.Since its first publication in 1983, Surviving Schizophrenia has become the standard reference book on the disease and has helped thousands of patients, their families, and mental health professionals. In clear language, this much-praised and important book describes the nature, causes, symptoms, treatment, and course of schizophrenia and also explores living with it from both the patient's and the family's point of view. This new, completely updated sixth edition includes the latest research findings on what causes the disease, as well as information about the newest drugs for treatment, and answers the questions most often asked by families, consumers,...

The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness

The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness
by Elyn R. Saks (Author)


Elyn R. Saks is an esteemed professor, lawyer, and psychiatrist and is the Orrin B. Evans Professor of Law, Psychology, Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California Law School, yet she has suffered from schizophrenia for most of her life, and still has ongoing major episodes of the illness. The Center Cannot Hold is the eloquent, moving story of Elyn's life, from the first time that she heard voices speaking to her as a young teenager, to attempted suicides in college, through learning to live on her own as an adult in an often terrifying world. Saks discusses frankly the paranoia, the inability to tell imaginary fears from real ones, the voices in her head telling her to kill herself (and to harm others); as well the incredibly difficult obstacles she...

When the Sun Bursts: The Enigma of Schizophrenia

When the Sun Bursts: The Enigma of Schizophrenia
by Christopher Bollas (Author)


Many schizophrenics experience their condition as one of radical incarceration, mind-altering medications, isolation, and dehumanization.  At a time when the treatment of choice is anti-psychotic medication, world-renowned psychoanalyst Christopher Bollas asserts that schizophrenics can be helped by much more humane treatments, and that they have a chance to survive and even reverse the process if they have someone to talk to them regularly and for a sustained period, soon after their first breakdown. 
 
In this sensitive and evocative narrative, he draws on his personal experiences working with schizophrenics since the 1960’s. He offers his interpretation of how schizophrenia develops, typically in the teens, as an adaptation in the difficult transition to...

Schizophrenia: A Blueprint for Recovery

Schizophrenia: A Blueprint for Recovery
by Milt Greek (Author)


Schizophrenia: A Blueprint for Recovery provides innovative techniques to work with a person in psychosis, move him or her into recovery and aid in rejoining mainstream society. Topics include the building of psychosis, hallucinations and false perceptions, working with someone in psychosis, stabilizing on medication and counseling for self-understanding. The 2012 Revised Edition includes enhancements in understanding psychosis, a discussion of medication and alternatives and a new appendix to aid in working with a person experiencing psychosis. The 2014 follow-up and companion book, Delusions, Meaning and Transformation, extends the understanding of psychosis and places the original material in Schizophrenia: A Blueprint for Recovery into the context of numerous other strategies for...

Schizophrenia For Dummies

Schizophrenia For Dummies
by Jerome Levine (Author), Irene S. Levine (Author)


Practical tools for leading a happy, productive life

Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling mental disorder that afflicts one percent of the population, an estimated 2.5 million people in America alone. The firsthand advice in this reassuring guide will empower the families and caregivers of schizophrenia patients to take charge, offering expert advice on identifying the warning signs, choosing the right health professional, understanding currently available drugs and those on the horizon (as well as their side effects), and evaluating traditional and alternative therapies.

The Complete Family Guide to Schizophrenia: Helping Your Loved One Get the Most Out of Life

The Complete Family Guide to Schizophrenia: Helping Your Loved One Get the Most Out of Life
by Kim T. Mueser PhD (Author), Susan Gingerich MSW (Author)


Will the person you love ever get better? Chances are you've grappled with the question. With care and support from their families, people with schizophrenia can and do make vast improvements. Noted therapists Kim Mueser and Susan Gingerich deepen your understanding of the illness and cover a wide range of effective treatments. Based on decades of research and experience, they offer pragmatic suggestions for dealing with depression, psychosis, and other symptoms. They show you how to prioritize needs, resolve everyday problems, and encourage your loved one to set life goals. Plus, individual sections highlight special issues for parents, children, siblings, and partners. Whether you’re facing schizophrenia for the first time or you’ve dealt with its impact for years, you’ll...

Schizophrenia: The Ultimate Guide To Schizophrenia - Learn The Causes, Symptoms, Types, And Early Warning Signs Of Schizophrenia! (Mental Health, Schizophrenia Paranoia, Mental Illness)

Schizophrenia: The Ultimate Guide To Schizophrenia - Learn The Causes, Symptoms, Types, And Early Warning Signs Of Schizophrenia! (Mental Health, Schizophrenia Paranoia, Mental Illness)


Schizophrenia
The Ultimate Guide To Schizophrenia - Learn The Causes, Symptoms, Types, And Early Warning Signs Of Schizophrenia!

The “Schizophrenia: The Ultimate Guide To Schizophrenia - Learn The Causes, Symptoms, Types, And Early Warning Signs Of Schizophrenia” is particularly designed to increase the awareness for schizophrenia. It is a mental disorder and the people are unaware of its symptoms, causes, and remedies. The book has symptoms and causes of this disease.

After reading this book, you will be able to identify a patient suffering from schizophrenia. This disorder is often misrepresented and misunderstood; therefore, it is important to share the right details about this problem. The people are unable to understand its symptoms and there are...

The Quiet Room: A Journey Out of the Torment of Madness

The Quiet Room: A Journey Out of the Torment of Madness
by Lori Schiller (Author), Amanda Bennett (Author)


At seventeen Lori Schiller was the perfect child -- the only daughter of an affluent, close-knit family. Six years later she made her first suicide attempt, then wandered the streets of New York City dressed in ragged clothes, tormenting voices crying out in her mind. Lori Schiller had entered the horrifying world of full-blown schizophrenia. She began an ordeal of hospitalizations, halfway houses, relapses, more suicide attempts, and constant, withering despair. But against all odds, she survived. Now in this personal account, she tells how she did it, taking us not only into her own shattered world, but drawing on the words of the doctors who treated her and family members who suffered with her.

In this new edition, Lori Schiller recounts the dramatic years following the...

Mind Estranged: My Journey from Schizophrenia and Homelessness to Recovery

Mind Estranged: My Journey from Schizophrenia and Homelessness to Recovery
by Bethany Yeiser (Author)


MIND ESTRANGED tells the story of Bethany's life, from her years as a promising university student through her gradual descent into schizophrenia, and unexpected, full recovery. While slowly losing her sanity, she traveled the world. She returned to the U.S. unable to work or study--and soon found herself homeless, delusional, and controlled by voices that talked to her and gave her orders in her mind.

Bethany's memoir enables the reader to enter into the mind of a person with schizophrenia, homeless and roaming the streets. While living in the shadows of society, her illness drove her to refuse all contact with her family and friends, and eventually led to her arrest and hospitalization. Against all odds, she recovered from schizophrenia, returned to college, and graduated with...

© 2016 BrightSurf.com