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Researchers find molecular signatures of mental illnesses for the first time

Researchers find molecular signatures of mental illnesses for the first time

According to an article published in Science journal, mental issues could show up in the physiology of the brain. The researchers have found molecular signature for the first time after examining the brain cortex of a large number of deceased patients.

They studied five major problems related to mental illness:

  1. Autism 2. Schizophrenia 3. Bipolar disorder 4. Depression 5. Alcoholism

Findings of the study:

  • They discovered that these conditions go in parallel with specific gene activity and manifest in the genes’ expression in the cerebral cortex (outermost layer of the brain).
  • The study showed that while some genes were active in both schizophrenia and autism, they were more active in autism.
  • There were also signs that brain cell communication was affected in three diseases, autism, depression and bipolar disorder.
  • The study would pave the way for further research that would enable precision medicine approaches.

Relevance for India

According to National Mental Health Survey of India 2015-16; nearly 50 million people in India were in need of mental health interventions and care.

It becomes necessary to get a better grip on both diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders.

 

 

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