Uniba: the research activity does not stop

The University of Bari “Aldo Moro” participated in an international research project, which brought to light more than relevant information on schizophrenia

An article was recently published in the well-known scientific journal Nature, the result of the collaboration of many international research groups, including the Aldo Moro Group of Psychiatric Neuroscience of the University of Bari (considered one of the most advanced at international level in psychiatry research), with professors Alessandro Bertolino, Giuseppe Blasi, Antonio Rampino and Doctor Silvia Torretta.

This article reports very important information on schizophrenia, a disabling psychic disorder whose characterizations are alterations in thinking, perception and behavior. It usually has a chronic evolution and tends to worsen over time if left untreated.

In previous years, the most disparate theories have been used regarding the causes of schizophrenia and more serious psychiatric disorders, but it was subsequently understood that the risk of getting schizophrenia depends on about 80% of genetic variations.

Until recently, however, only a small percentage of these genetic variations were known.

Subsequently, several research groups joined their forces, collecting the DNA of about three hundred thousand people, of which about seventy-five thousand patients. The study revealed the presence of at least 287 DNA regions associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia, including at least 120 genes identified. These genes participate in important physiological processes such as the functioning of nerve cells, as well as the reorganization of their communication in structural and functional terms. Upon further investigation, it was possible to understand that most of these genes are involved in brain development, a fundamental physiological process for schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders.

This research undoubtedly marks progress in the study of this disorder, giving the green light to studies aimed at finding an appropriate pharmacological treatment.


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