Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

RCSI participates in ground-breaking international schizophrenia study

11 January 2011
Important new findings on the genetics of schizophrenia were recently published in the leading scientific journal PLoS Genetics by scientists and clinicians from Harvard University and the International Schizophrenia Consortium, which involves 66 researchers across Europe, USA and Australia.

Among those involved in the study was RCSI's Professor John Waddington, Molecular & Cellular Therapeutics, who has enjoyed a long-standing collaboration with Dr Aiden Corvin and Professor Michael Gill from the Neuropsychiatric Genetics Research Group at Trinity College Dublin. The Irish-based collaborators participated in the study under the leadership of Dr Shaun Purcell and Dr Mark Daly of Harvard University.

Professor Waddington commented: "Accumulation of the large number of subjects necessary for studies such as this, is achieved most readily by collaboration between individual research groups who pool their resources. (In this study samples of 2,415 and 3,181 control subjects and 3,391 patients participated.)

"The findings indicate that the majority of structural genetic variation in schizophrenia involves genes associated particularly with the activity of nerve cells and brain processes related to learning. However, much remains to be done to understand how abnormal brain cells, psychiatric symptoms and functional impairment arise from these genetic variations".