UCLA researchers recently discovered how certain neuropsychiatric disorders, like schizophrenia and autism, are related to brain irregularities and genetic abnormalities. Carrie Bearden, lead author of the study and professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences and of psychology at UCLA, explains that duplications found in sections of chromosome 22 can sometimes lead to autism, whereas missing genetic material on chromosome 22 increases genetic risk for schizophrenia. For individuals with duplication in chromosome 22 – AKA 22q duplication – the duplication of genetic material prevents and protects against schizophrenia. The MRI scans show that individuals with 22q deletion have thicker gray matter, but less brain surface area. The 22q duplication group has the opposite pattern. Ultimately, this research broadens understandings of these neuropsychiatric disorders and how they may be interconnected.
Read more at UCLA Newsroom