Found the secrets of Schizophrenia & Manic depression!

Schizophrenia : Schizophrenia is a severe & chronic brain disorder that usually strikes in late adolescence or early adulthood. It is marked by hallucinations & delusions. Sufferers may hear voices or believe that other people are controlling them or reading their minds. Such experiences can be terrifying & can cause fearfulness, withdrawal or extreme agitation. People with schizophrenia have reduced brain receptors for the dopamine messenger. They may not make sense when they talk, or they can appear to be perfectly fine & normal until they are asked what they are really thinking.

Manic depression : Bipolar disorder, or manic depression, is marked by unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels & the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder often manifests itself in late adolescence or early adulthood, although it may not be diagnosed for many years. The ups & downs are different from the normal ones that everyone experiences & they can result in damaged relationships, poor performances in school & jobs & even suicide. Sometimes a person with severe episodes of mania or depression has psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations or delusions.

Scientists have discovered a remarkable similarity between the genetic faults behind both schizophrenia & manic depression in a breakthrough that is expected to open the way to new treatments for two of the most common mental illnesses, affecting millions of people. Previously doctors had assumed that the two conditions were quite separate. But new research shows for the first time that both have a common genetic basis that leads people to develop one or other of the two illnesses.

Three different international studies investigated the genetic basis of schizophrenia by pooling their analysis of about 15,000 patients & nearly 50,000 healthy subjects to find that thousands of tiny genetic mutations – known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) – are operating in raising the risk of developing the illness. Although the schizophrenia studies have so far only identified a handful of the many thousands of genetic variations implicated in the mental illness, scientists believe it represents a breakthrough that will accelerate the understanding of the condition and the development of new drugs & treatments.

This might help to explain why babies born in winter & spring when influenza is rife, or to women who have had flu during pregnancy, are at slightly increased risk of developing schizophrenia in later life, the scientists said. "Discoveries such as these are crucial for teasing out the biology of the disease & making it possible for us to begin to develop drugs targeting the underlying causes & not just the symptoms of the disease," said Kari Stefansson.

The study also found links to schizophrenia with DNA variations in certain genes involved in the growth of nerve cells in the brain & the production of a protein messenger molecule that helps the transmission of signals from one brain cell to another.



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