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Genomic insights into schizophrenia

Owen, Michael J. ORCID: 2023. Genomic insights into schizophrenia. Royal Society Open Science 10 (2) , 230125. 10.1098/rsos.230125

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Schizophrenia is a common, complex, heterogeneous psychiatric syndrome which can have profound impacts on affected individuals and imposes significant burdens on society. Despite intensive research, it has been challenging to understand basic mechanisms and to identify novel therapeutic targets. Given its high heritability and the complexity and inaccessibility of the human brain, much hope has been invested in the application of genomics as a route to better understanding. This work has identified many common and rare risk alleles and laid the foundations for a new generation of mechanistic studies. Genomics has also thrown new light on the relationship between schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders and revealed its previously unappreciated aetiological relationship with childhood neurodevelopmental disorders, providing further evidence that it has its origins in disturbances of brain development. In addition, genomic findings suggest that the condition reflects fundamental disturbances in neuronal, and particularly synaptic, function that impact broadly on brain function, rather than being a disorder of specific brain regions and circuits. Finally, genomics has provided a plausible solution to the evolutionary paradox of how the condition persists in the face of high heritability and reduced fecundity.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Publisher: The Royal Society
ISSN: 2054-5703
Funders: MRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 February 2023
Date of Acceptance: 2 February 2023
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2023 08:03

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