According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 2.4 million American adults have schizophrenia, or 1.1% of the US population over the age of 18. Mental health experts say schizophrenia has long been known to run in families.
“Schizophrenia is a debilitating mental illness with a strong hereditary factor,” states Dr. Lynn DeLisi, principle investigator of the study and a faculty member at Harvard Medical School. “Despite its heritability, the underlying genetic cause for the disease has yet to be identified.”
To address this gap in knowledge, a research team at the VA Boston Healthcare System in Brockton, MA is conducting a study using the latest technologies in human DNA analysis to help determine the specific gene or sequence of genes causing this severe psychiatric disorder. The study is recruiting volunteers from families where multiple members have been diagnosed with schizophrenia or related disorders. Participation is not limited to veterans, but is open to the general public.
The study is supported by a grant from Amgen, a leader in the development of therapeutic products from genetic research that address major diseases worldwide.
For more information, contact Paul Nelson, M.Ed., Research Coordinator, at GeneticsResearchVA(at)gmail(dot)com (see contact information)