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Similar genetic origins possible for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

ironmental issues. This possibility is consistent with previous studies which indicate that infections occurring early in infancy may be a risk factor for the development of schizophrenia and biopolar disorder later in life.

Because symptoms of both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder typically emerge only in late adolescence or early adulthood, Yolken says this current research may someday help physicians screen children whose family histories put them at potential risk for developing these disorders, and treat them before they exhibit symptoms.

"By looking for abnormalities in myelin, we might be able to identify children likely to develop these disorders as adults and begin treatment before symptoms become severe and debilitating," Yolken said.

Most of the laboratory work was conducted in the laboratory of Sabine Bahn at the Babraham Institute of the University of Cambridge. Additional authors of the study were Dmitri Tkachev, Michael L. Mimmack, and Margaret M. Ryan from the University of Cambridge and the Babraham Institute; Peter B. Jones from the University of Cambridge; Matt Wayland, Tom Freeman and Michael Starkey from the U.K. Human Genome Mapping Project Resource Centre; and Maree J. Webster from the Stanley Laboratory of Brain Research, Bethesda, MD.


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Contact: Jessica Collins
jcolli31@jhmi.edu
410-516-4570
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
9-Sep-2003


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