Hopes research could lead to new schizophrenia treatmentTuesday 22 July 2014 17.39
New research identifying the biology underlying schizophrenia could lead to innovations in treatment for the disorder.
The results of an international study on the genetic basis of the disease have been published online in the Nature journal.
Researchers identified 108 locations in the human genome associated with the risk of developing schizophrenia in the largest genomic study ever on any psychiatric disorder.
Previous research had only found 20 parts of the genome linked to schizophrenia, so these results have been hailed as a major step in understanding its genetic basis.
The research was conducted by an international team, including scientists from Trinity College Dublin.
Schizophrenia affects around one out of every 100 people in Ireland and worldwide.
Scientists looked at over 80,000 samples from patients and healthy volunteers, including 3,500 Irish participants.
The senior author of the research has said the new findings have the potential to kick-start the development of new schizophrenia treatments.
Professor Michael O'Donovan, deputy director of the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics at Cardiff University School of Medicine, said the process of improving treatments for the disorder had stalled for the past 60 years.