British biologists have identified DNA regions associated with the development of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. A study on the topic was published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.
Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are largely caused by genetic traits, but science has so far lacked insight into the specific genes that are responsible for the development of these difficult-to-diagnose and treat illnesses. A team of scientists at Cambridge University, led by Chaitanya Eradi, has identified stretches of DNA that are not related to any genes, but produce proteins that are thought to be indicators of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
“If you look beyond the stretches of DNA that are considered genes, you find the fact that the entire human genome can produce proteins, not just genes. We have identified protein structures that are involved in biological processes and that provoke disorders characteristic of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder,” say the authors of the publication.
We are talking about proteins that can do useful work, but under certain circumstances provoke disorders. Scientists believe that their discovery makes it possible to create a new generation of drugs aimed at treating mental disorders. Whether this is true, we will know in the foreseeable future.