Monday, October 22, 2012

Immune Genes Are Implicated in Schizophrenia

A region of the genome involved in immune system function, called the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), is involved in genetic susceptibility to schizophrenia. So reported two international groups of scientists online on October 10 in Biological Psychiatry. Actually "we have replicated evidence for specific risk and protective alleles at the MHC locus—a critical step teasing apart the genetic risk mechanisms involved," commented Aiden Corvin, M.D., an associate professor of psychiatry at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, in an accompanying press release.

"Immunologic studies in schizophrenia that illuminate the nature of the contribution of variation in immune system genes to schizophrenia will be an important new direction in schizophrenia research," John Krystal, M.D., editor of Biological Psychiatry, stated in the same press release.

More information about the roles that the immune system plays in psychiatric illness can be found in Psychiatric News here and here.

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