Scientists discover regulatory gene of schizophrenia

A group of researchers at the Philadelphia Children’s Hospital announced that they had identified a gene that “acts as a major regulator of schizophrenia” when the brain develops during its early stage.

The researchers used special computational tools by analyzing or large collections of brain tissue. These results may be useful in treating schizophrenia, considered one of the most complex and difficult to treat neuropsychiatric disorders.

Researchers used two independent datasets of biological samples from schizophrenic parties or control subjects. They then used an algorithm developed by Columbia University to reconstruct gene transcription networks and identified the TCF4 gene, considered by the researchers themselves as a regulator of schizophrenia.

Kai Wang, a researcher at the Philadelphia Hospital and first in charge of the study, says “since hundreds, or even thousands, of genes can contribute to the risk of schizophrenia, it is essential to understand which are the most important, by controlling the central networks of the disease. Identifying the key regulators can help us achieve priority goals for new treatments in the future.”