Brain diseases are genomic opposites

Autism and schizophrenia may be two sides of the same genomic coin. Copy number variations in the exact same genes determine whether patients suffer from one condition or the other, according to data presented on Friday (Apr. 3) at the linkurl:Sackler Colloquium on Evolution in Health and Medicine;http://www.nasonline.org/site/PageServer?pagename=Sackler_Evolution_Health_Medicine in Washington, DC. Both autism and schizophrenia involve disturbances in brain areas linked to social functions, bu

Elie Dolgin
Apr 5, 2009
Autism and schizophrenia may be two sides of the same genomic coin. Copy number variations in the exact same genes determine whether patients suffer from one condition or the other, according to data presented on Friday (Apr. 3) at the linkurl:Sackler Colloquium on Evolution in Health and Medicine;http://www.nasonline.org/site/PageServer?pagename=Sackler_Evolution_Health_Medicine in Washington, DC. Both autism and schizophrenia involve disturbances in brain areas linked to social functions, but the two psychiatric disorders often display diametrically opposite traits. For instance, social cognition is underdeveloped in autism but hyper-developed in schizophrenia. Several recent studies have also implicated some of the same genes in the two types of conditions, which has led researchers to suggest a common underlying genetic basis for both brain disorders. Last year, linkurl:Bernard Crespi,;http://www.sfu.ca/biology/faculty/crespi/ an evolutionary biologist at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, Canada, and linkurl:Christopher Badcock,;http://www2.lse.ac.uk/researchAndExpertise/Experts/c.badcock@lse.ac.uk a sociologist at the London School of Economics, linkurl:proposed;http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=1915836 that autism and schizophrenia result from...

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