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Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2006;8(1):79-84.

Clinical impact of recently detected susceptibility genes for schizophrenia.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Bonn, 53105 Bonn, Germany.


After years of frustration, the search for genes impacting on schizophrenia is now undergoing some exciting developments. Several proposals of susceptibility genes have been able to be supported by replications. Thus, there are now at least three very strong candidates: the gene for dysbindin (DTNBP1), the gene for neuregulin-1 (NRG1), and a less well-understood gene locus, G72/G30, which are likely to influence manifestations of schizophrenia. Other "hot" candidates such as the disrupted-in-schizophrenia 1 gene (DISC1) and the gene coding for protein kinase B (AKT1) might also prove to be susceptibility genes in the next future. The clinical implications of these findings are not yet fully visible. However, some first insights are possible: most of the genetic findings lack diagnostic specificity, and are also reproduced in bipolar disorder. Strong associations are also obtained on a symptomatic level, not only on a diagnostic level. The pathophysiological role of these hot candidate genes is currently under intensive study.

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