Scottish scientists say a variation in a gene linked with schizophrenia is associated with the occurrence of psychotic symptoms and cognitive deficits
United Press International:
The most notable symptoms of schizophrenia are delusions and hallucinations, but the full syndrome is preceded by milder psychotic behaviors and includes general cognitive deficits.
During a 10-year period, Jeremy Hall and colleagues at the University of Edinburgh studied young people with schizophrenic relatives who, therefore, were at high risk of developing schizophrenia themselves.
The researchers found people with a variant of the neuregulin 1, or NRG1, gene that's been previously associated with schizophrenia were more likely to develop psychotic symptoms and to have low IQ scores than those without the variant.
Furthermore, they found people with the risky NRG1 variant showed lower activation in parts of the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, as measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging.
The findings suggest the behavioral and neural precursors of schizophrenia may have a significant genetic contribution, the researchers said.
Schizophrenia and IQ
STRANGE NEW IQ STUDY
Gene link to schizophrenia found