Researchers are always continuing to explore new findings that could change the way we treat, understand, and discuss mental disorders. A UCLA-led study published this year in the journal Science found that autism, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder share some physical, molecular characteristics – this is a huge step forward as we learn more about the brain tissue and what details it can provide us. After analyzing the RNA in 700 brain tissue samples from the brains of deceased subjects who had autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder or alcohol abuse disorder, researchers compared them to find some key differences and similarities.
Senior author Daniel Geschwind, distinguished professor in neurology, psychiatry and human genetics and director of the UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment stated for the university’s newspaper,
“We show that these molecular changes in the brain are connected to underlying genetic causes, but we don’t yet understand the mechanisms by which these genetic factors would lead to these changes…this new work shows the consequences, we now have to understand the mechanisms by which this comes about, so as to develop the ability to change these outcomes”.
Scientists have been familiar with the fact that genes play a crucial role in the susceptibility of someone developing a mental disorder, but this new study has provided yet another puzzle piece to fill the gaps. By identifying which genes are more or less active in the brains of individuals with various mental health conditions, we can learn more about genetic variations and causations.
Overall, it seems that targeted molecular therapy is the next step – researchers are continuing to explore what may be a huge factor in these mental disorders and what we can do to prevent them from developing and/or how we can continue to better treat them.
If you have a mental disorder that is significantly affecting your quality of life, seek out a treatment center today. In doing this, you can attend therapies and develop tools to help reduce distressing symptoms and ways to better manage your disorder. Help is available, and recovery is possible.
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