Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Autism and Childhood Schizophrenia are Molecularly the SAME

Copyright © 2008 Cell Press. All rights reserved.
Neuron, Vol 58, 165-167, 24 April 2008

Schizophrenia: Genome, Interrupted
Rita M. Cantor1,2, and Daniel H. Geschwind1,2,3,

1 Department of Human Genetics, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
2 Center for Neurobehavioral Genetics, Semel Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
3 Program in Neurogenetics, Department of Neurology, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA

Corresponding author
Rita M. Cantor

Corresponding author
Daniel H. Geschwind


"The specificity of the identified variants
for schizophrenia remains unknown. For
example, CNVs in Neurexin 1 and recurrent
CNV on chromosome 16p11 previously
reported in ASD and other neurodevelopmental
disorders were also
observed in this study. This is not problematic,
but rather it presents a significant
opportunity to understand the relationship
of these disorders at a molecular
level. If the same genes carry mutations
for the development of schizophrenia or
autism, it suggests genetic pleiotropy,
where multiple disorders derive from mutations
in the same gene, and the disorder
is conditional upon the presence of other
modifying alleles, environment factors, or
chance. It also should be recognized that
childhood schizophrenia shares some
clinical features with ASD and has been
considered part of the ASD spectrum in
the past. Thus, from a neurobiological perspective,
these genetic data support the
notion of a link between disorders involving
neurodevelopmental processes that
are currently considered to be clinically
distinct. This work makes significant inroads
in breaking down the somewhat
artificial clinical distinctions between neuropsychiatric
diseases and provides support
for defining core phenotypes related
to the common genetic mechanisms"



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