Genetic variant increases risk of schizophreniaBMJ 2001; 322 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7299.1384/b (Published 09 June 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:1384
- Deborah Josefson
- San Francisco
Researchers from the National Institute of Mental Health have found that a common genetic variant in an enzyme involved in dopamine metabolism is linked to poor memory function and increased susceptibility to schizophrenia (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 2001;98:6917-22.)
The study is among the first to show that a normal genetic variant can increase the risk of mental illness. It also opens up another possible treatment option for schizophrenia.
The researchers wanted to study whether variations in catechol-o-methyltransferase, a gene coding for the degradation of dopamine in the prefrontal cortex, was related to risk of schizophrenia.
People with schizophrenia have increased dopamine receptor levels in their brains …