Genes for schizophrenia, obesity highlighted

Washington D.C: Genes involved in schizophrenia and obesity have been highlighted in a new study.

The UCL study could lead to a better understanding of the DNA variants which affect risk of these conditions and aid the development of improved strategies for prevention and treatment.

The research involved analysing over one million genetic variants in over two thousand research subjects who had either schizophrenia or severe childhood onset obesity. The work was carried out as part of the UK10K project, a British research program funded by the Wellcome Trust which has sequenced the genes of several thousand volunteers.

The results identified those genes in which variants more commonly occurred in either the schizophrenic or the obese subjects.

Lead researcher, Professor David Curtis, said that schizophrenia and obesity represent huge public health problems. Both conditions have a substantial genetic contribution which is at present poorly understood. This study illustrates the way that genetic sequencing technology can help us to make progress in this area.

The study is published in Annals of Human Genetics.