Genes affecting our communication skills relate to genes for psychiatric disorder

By screening thousands of individuals, an international team led by researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, the University of Bristol, the Broad Institute and the iPSYCH consortium has provided new insights into the relationship between genes that confer risk for autism or schizophrenia and genes that influence our ability to communicate during the course of development.

The researchers studied the genetic overlap between the risk of having these psychiatric disorders and measures of social communicative competence - the ability to socially engage with other people successfully - during middle childhood to adolescence. They showed that genes influencing social communication problems during childhood overlap with genes conferring risk for autism, but that this relationship wanes during adolescence. In contrast, genes influencing risk for schizophrenia were most strongly interrelated with genes affecting social competence during later adolescence, in line with the natural history of the disorder. The findings were published in Molecular Psychiatry on 3 January 2017.

Timing makes the difference

“The findings suggest that the risk of developing these contrasting psychiatric conditions is strongly related to distinct sets of genes, both of which influence social communication skills, but which exert their maximum influence during different periods of development”, explained Beate St Pourcain, senior investigator at the MPI and lead author of the study.

I am not sure what to make of this and would welcome other people’s thoughts.
For me social communication(interaction ) with others was a problem from an early age ie pre adolescence . There are those here though who had good social networks pre the onset of illness.
It’s interesting that they say the relationship between genes affecting social relationships and autism wanes during adolescence.
Although my social communication/interaction problems started early they definitely didn’t ease off during adolescence. If anything they may have got worse .


yEs that’s a damn genes that makes us sick…!!

Let me guess. This new research opens up the door for new therapies that target the disease in more specific ways- 20 years from now. Blah blah blah blah

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I’ve had my ups and downs regarding social interaction, but overall I’ve never had real problems in this area. Also, my schizophrenia started long after the adolescence was over and done with. I was 30. In my case, changing countries and living alone and having few close friends that I could meet with on a regular basis probably have precipitated the onset. My job wasn’t particularly stressful but the daily commute was. I was never at peace with the fact that 2 hours a day would be lost hopping on buses and trains. Maybe I should’ve worked from home.

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Your chronic cynicism is noted.


These ■■■■■■■ genes really sucks!

@MeghillaGorilla1 is right though. Every thing they say that will bring some better treatments it will only be available 20 years from now on. :unamused:

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I guess it will take more then 20 year may be 30…!!!

I guess it’s about the same for other countries.

In terms of drugs helping people we have to think not only of current patients but those in the future who will develop psychosis/schizophrenia/(severe)mental illness.

It may be late for some of us(I will be 60 on the 15th) but for others it could eventually make a big difference.


its always a lengthy process…!!!