An excavation of a million people’s genes has provided some interesting clues to how several common psychiatric disorders might arise, including major depression and schizophrenia.
An international group of researchers from the US, UK, China, Singapore, Japan, and Australia collaborated for the project, dubbed the Brainstorm Study.
They pooled together genetic data from 265,000 patients diagnosed with one of 25 different brain disorders, and compared it to genetic data of 785,000 people with no such diagnosis.
Most of the disorders included were conditions thought to be psychiatric in nature, but they also included neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis, as well as migraines, epilepsy, and stroke.
People with different neurological disorders did not have significant genetic patterns in common with one another, or with people who had psychiatric illnesses.
“If we can uncover the genetic influences and patterns of overlap between different disorders, then we might be able to better understand the root causes of these conditions — and potentially identify specific mechanisms appropriate for tailored treatments.”