There are currently 2.4 million adults suffering from schizophrenia in the United States and the cause is not entirely clear. However, research appears to be shedding light upon this illness.
As a disabling brain disorder, schizophrenia makes it difficult for a victim of such a malady to perform everyday tasks. The condition often first appears between the ages of 16 and 30 and researchers believe it is hereditary in nature. While the disease affects approximately one percent of the population, approximately 10 percent of individuals that have it also have a parent, sister or brother who suffers from it as well.
Investigators now have many tools that allows for researchers to discover whether a combination of genes leads to schizophrenia. They now are also able to identify certain gene mutations that may lead to schizophrenia as well. These mutations were discovered in schizophrenic patients who had parents that were not schizophrenic. Researchers were also able to examine patients where mutations did appear to be passed down by parents.
In any event, this discovery could lead to detecting schizophrenia in patients and even result in the disease being treated. Medical advancements concerning a number of mental illnesses will also continue to be made and with each new discovery we hope to come one step closer to alleviating the problem.
Results of this and other studies at least indicate that progress is being made when it comes to mental illness. Though these illnesses have not disappeared, there is hope that patients will not suffer from such disabilities forever. It’s therefore a worthwhile investment to help these and other disabled individuals out. The cost of doing nothing is far greater.
Source: Medical News Today, “Researchers identify genetic mutations that may cause schizophrenia,” Honor Whiteman, May 29, 2014