applied science

Could We Finally Have A Handle On The Cause Of Schizophrenia?

It’s a hidden scourge that affects millions.
Turns their minds into personal horror parks.
Destroys a lot of futures, pushing people to the margins of society.
And we don’t know in advance who will develop it.
Or why it happens.
Or how to cure it.

Maybe someone has figured out what is happening, if not exactly why.

As reported in this IFLScience article researchers have finally zeroed in on a key difference between the neurology of schizophrenics and non-schizophrenic people.

Researchers have suspected for decades that dysfunctional Synapses are the problem and a protein called Synaptic Vesicle Glycoprotein 2A (SV2A) might be the cause. But the only way they had to study this was brain tissue from dead people. Finally they have developed a way to study this in the brains of living patients:

Researchers administered a new type of tracer that binds to SV2A, before putting their brains under the gaze of a positron emission tomography (PET) brain scan, which produces detailed 3D images of inside the body. The scans picked up on the lower levels of SV2A in the brains of people with schizophrenia.

So why are there reduced levels of SV2A in some people but not others?
Is SV2A not being produced correctly? – Is there a problem with the coding of the genes that build SV2A?
Or is there something in the environment that affects the process of gene -> protein expression?

Whichever it is you can bet that researchers are trying to figure it out. Knowing the particulars of a problem goes a long way to finding a fix or cure. And maybe 2020 is the year that we can look back on as when we got to say goodbye to Schizophrenia on the list of major issues facing humanity. Like we might be doing with Cancer.

By xamble

Most things I do involve computers. Nowadays that sounds stupid to hear because everyone uses computers. Except I was saying that before the IBM PC came on the scene. (hint: my first programs were entered on punch cards in an IBM-29)
Now I mostly use them.
Mostly to provide a community service in my small town. Because I could when it was asked and still can.
And I'm a wannabe writer. Various books in various states of incompleteness. A few short stories. Might do more of that.

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