Scientists say they have conclusive evidence that changes to a gene called SETD1A can dramatically raise the risk of developing schizophrenia - a finding that should help the search for new treatments.
The team, led by researchers at Britain’s Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, said damaging changes to the gene happen very rarely but can increase the risk of schizophrenia 35-fold.
Changes in SETD1A also raise the risk of a range of neurodevelopmental disorders, the researchers said.
In a study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, the team found that mutations that remove the function of SETD1A are almost never found in the general population, but affect 1 in 1,000 people with schizophrenia.
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