In one of the largest research projects that Aarhus University in Denmark has ever seen, researchers are discovering new ”risk-genes” that have an impact on the development of schizophrenia.

Researchers have identified five new risk-genes that can have an influence on developing schizophrenia, discovered by researchers from Denmark, other European countries, the US and Australia.

The results of this significant investigation have been published in Nature Genetics and hope to give scientists the key to understanding why this psychological illness develops.

”We know that schizophrenia at a high level is inherited, but we do not know much about the specific reasons for developing the illness. This new discovery of the five risk genes is an enormous step towards a deeper understanding. In about 10-15 years, this discovery may result in concrete treatments to combating schizophrenia” explains Anders Børglum, a professor in genetic medicine from Aarhus University.

Together with colleagues at Aarhus University, the research by Børglum and others has contributed to the global knowledge about schizophrenia. Furthermore, they have increased the chances for better medical treatment in the future.

50,695 people investigated

The most extensive investigation ever undertaken, 50,695 persons from all over the world have taken part in this investigation.

”More than 1000 gene variations have been found. It appears that these variations are part of the reason for the development of schizophrenia. Until now we have only known a few of them, so every time we identify a new cause, it bring us an important step closer to fully understanding what causes the illness” Anders Børglum explains. “Now that we know that these five gene variations are involved in the development of the illness, our next step is to understand the mechanisms and development of the disease”.