genetic risk of schizophrenia

Rumour: Genetic schizophrenia can contribute to cognitive dysfunction.

Truth: This is true.

Schizophrenia is a chronic psychiatric illness that affects 1% of the population. Symptoms typically emerge right after puberty and further complicate throughout life. Some characteristics of schizophrenia include auditory hallucinations, increased social isolation, lack of pleasure, and impaired attention. Current treatments for schizophrenia do little to alleviate the negative symptoms associated with the disorder, including increased social isolation, apathy and lack of pleasure.

A study published in JAMA Psychiatry published an article that examined the the genomes of individuals living with schizophrenia and determined the gene loci that would elicit an impairment in reaction time, verbal and numerical reasoning, and general cognitive function. The research found a total of 21 gene loci contributed to impairments in cognitive functioning as a result of having schizophrenia.

To examine the distribution of gene loci, click the link here.

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