Hope in psychiatry


" We know that people born with certain gene variants can be more likely to develop schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism-like behaviour, but we don’t know what these genes might be doing, and how they might put people at risk."

"The group looked at tissue from people who had any of five diagnoses: autism-like conditions, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and alcoholism. “We found substantial overlap,” says Geschwind. “This work shows that using molecular features we might be able to get a good picture of these disorders, and develop targeted therapies.”

“Geschwind’s analysis reveals why some of these conditions overlap. In the brain, star-shaped cells called astrocytes help neurons grow. In people with autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, genes involved in controlling how these astrocytes function seem to be more active.”