Research out of Western University suggests schizophrenia can be diagnosed by studying a person’s DNA, paving the way for an individualized treatment plan.
Lead researcher Dr. Shiva Singh, a professor in Western’s Faculty of Science, says his work over the past 20 years challenges a “very fundamental principle” that a person’s genome sequence doesn’t change throughout the course of a lifetime.
Instead, Singh says there are genetic mutations taking place all the time. Many of the mutations don’t have implications for a person’s health. But if they happen in a certain set of genes, they can cause schizophrenia or other diseases.
This research suggests there’s a biological marker for schizophrenia. That’s something researchers didn’t have before.
Getting a genome sequence will cost a patient between $2,000 and $5,000 Singh says. The sequence will help doctors predict which medication will be most effective for each patient.
Related Research Paper:
Post-zygotic genomic changes in glutamate and dopamine pathway genes may explain discordance of monozygotic twins for schizophrenia