If you thought that schizophrenia is a single disease, a new research crushes the old theory, bring to our attention eight different disorders caused by changes in specific groups of genes which lead to various kinds of symptoms. This way, the scientists will be able to diagnose more easily and treat this mental illness that can make a lot of damage to the brain.
Robert Cloninger, the co-author of the study published on September 15, in the American Journal of Psychiatry, is hoping that this way, it will be developed a personalized diagnosis that can treat the cause itself, instead of treating only the symptoms of schizophrenia.
Cloninger, which is a professor of psychiatry and genetics at the Washington University School of Medicine from St. Louis, found, along with his colleagues, some genetic profiles that match certain symptoms and explained how people with disorganized speech, also known as “word salad”, have a specific genetic cluster, while other people with a different genetic profile can hear voices in their heads.
In the study was presented the case of a schizophrenic woman who started to develop this terrible disease at the age of 5. Because she was “hearing” her dolls talking to her, she taped over their mouths, to stopping them from calling her name. Another person had a genetic profile with 71% risk of schizophrenia started to hear voices later, at the age of 17. It seems that the average people are less likely to develop schizophrenia, added Cloninger.
It is known that schizophrenia runs in the family and if a twin gets this disease, the other brother/sister has 80% chances to develop it too. But in the past, it was impossible for doctors to find the single genes causing schizophrenia, and now, thanks to the new study, the doctors will know better how to treat the disease, but they still don’t know yet why some people with 70% risk of schizophrenia can develop it, while others will be healthy. One thing’s for sure. Those with 100% risk of schizophrenia are likely able to be cured.