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Genetic researchers kick-start schizophrenia research

There is no doubt that there is a specific stigma and a general misunderstanding surrounding mental illness, but one of the most important ways to diagnose, treat and potentially prevent mental illness is by engaging in discussions about it and turning to science to better understand it.

Many people in Cherry Hill see schizophrenia as being a dangerous disorder and schizophrenics as being a risk to people without mental illness. Though some people with schizophrenia may indeed be violent or risky, an overwhelming majority are not. They may be unable to work, however, leaving them dependent on Social Security benefits for people with mental health issues.

It is for these people who today's story about genetic research on schizophrenia may be most exciting. A condition on which research has long been stalled, a group of international geneticists has recently discovered connections between 108 different genes and schizophrenia. Though this information certainly won't mean a cure will be available at any point in the immediate future, learning more about the condition may help doctors and scientists to eventually develop successful gene therapies.

Schizophrenia certainly is not a rare condition with around 24 million people living with it. The condition manifests in a variety of ways, but some of the most common are unique body movements, abnormal thoughts, delusions and hallucinations. These symptoms are also one of the primary causes of why people believe those with schizophrenia are dangerous.

Most of the genes that were discovered to be linked to schizophrenia are involved with brain function.

Source: Medical News Today, "Researchers identify more than 80 new genes linked to schizophrenia," Honor Whiteman, July 22, 2014

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