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2.1 million dollars were awarded to researchers from the Hebrew University and from the USA for genetic research of schizophrenia

The research will be done on a genetic database unprecedented in its scope, which was built by a team led by Prof. Darvesi. The database includes DNA samples of thousands of Jews of Ashkenazi origin, some of whom are schizophrenic

Prof. Ariel Derbsi. Photo: The Hebrew University
Prof. Ariel Derbsi. Photo: The Hebrew University

The American Institute of Health (NIH) recently announced that a team of researchers led by Prof. Ariel Derbsi from the Silverman Institute for Life Sciences at the Hebrew University and Prof. Todd Lencz from the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in the USA, won a $2.1 million grant to conduct research on the genetic basis of schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia - a chronic mental illness characterized by hallucinations - tends to be inherited in the family and the reasons for its outbreak have a significant genetic component. So far, scientists have not been able to identify most of the genes whose carriers are at increased risk of contracting the disease. The funding given to the current research project may give a significant boost towards the identification of the genes responsible for this.

The research will be done on a genetic database unprecedented in its scope, which was built by a team led by Prof. Darvesi. The database includes DNA samples of thousands of Jews of Ashkenazi origin, some of whom are schizophrenic. Prof. Darbasi explains that "the unique demographic history of Ashkenazi Jews has resulted in this group having a relatively homogeneous background compared to other populations, which allows the characteristics of the disease related to the genetic aspect to stand out more in the analysis of the findings." In addition, the advanced genetic technologies that the researchers will use will allow the examination of more parts of the genetic code than previous studies have done. "We hope that the results of the research will lead to a more accurate prediction, treatment and prevention of diseases such as schizophrenia," he adds.

The "Grand Opportunity" grant from the American Institute of Health is given in a one-time manner for large-scale research with the potential for a breakthrough in the understanding of diseases. US President Barack Obama personally announced the winners of the grant and noted that the field of genetic research is one of the most exciting fields of research in the world and that investment in this field could lead to its advancement.

16 תגובות

  1. The article that my father claims to prove does not prove anything at all just amateurish and unrealistic. Anyone with a mind doesn't even have to be a doctor to know what a disorder is, a disease in the head, swelling of the brain, see Alzheimer's, which is damage to the brain cells, and also schizophrenia, also under the influence of drugs, dangerous substances that damage the brain, let him go and visit and see hospitals and investigate how much They used drugs before. I wish he was right and really it was true. The question is whether it is important to be smart or to know the truth

  2. The tendency to schizophrenia has a genetic basis.
    This is the conclusion of the scientists working on the subject, based on studies that identify the disease with a higher frequency among relatives of patients and with an even higher frequency between identical twins of patients.
    This is the starting point of the research because it is a known fact!
    So suddenly they start debating here whether the disease has a physiological basis?
    A tendency of genetic origin always has a physiological basis and those who claim that there is no physiological basis also say that the starting point of the research - the genetic basis - is unfounded.
    I wonder what such a brat bases his words on!
    Of course, there are additional confirmations for the physiological basis of the disease - including characteristics that can be found in the structure of the brain.
    Because the disease has a physiological basis, it also has drug treatment.
    The fact that the tendency to schizophrenia has a genetic basis does not mean, of course, that the environment has no influence on the bringing out of this tendency.

  3. Avi,
    Our knowledge and that of the medical establishment on the subject is still not perfect. Blood tests and photographs can detect biochemical disorders and diseases only if these affect the composition of the blood or cause a change large enough to appear in the photographs. The fact that certain biochemical substances such as alcohol and drugs are often a trigger for the outbreak of mental disorders as well as the fact that drugs that suppress certain biochemical activity in the brain prevent the recurrence of such outbreaks proves that there is a biochemical component in diseases and mental disorders.

    And no, I'm not a psychiatrist, and I work for a living in a profession that has nothing to do with medicine or science, I simply know the subject personally from myself and my family.

  4. …to share…

    Assaf did you even read the article?

    Are you free of personal considerations when considering the issue?

    Are you perhaps a psychiatrist who fears for his livelihood?

  5. The brain can certainly be sick, but when it is really sick, you can do scientific tests such as blood tests or photographs and diagnose a real disease. On the other hand, when the disease is defined according to the opinion of a psychiatrist, allow me to share the scientific aspects of the matter.

  6. To my father - no, there is no such thing as mental illness because the brain is an organ that never gets sick. Right?

  7. Sheesh is right.
    I have 3 mental disorders, and I have 2 cousins ​​with 2 identical disorders (and not the third).
    There are many genetic matters that come and affect only in extreme situations, and there are usually such situations in life as well.
    The genetic analysis and its understanding is in its infancy, but is progressing.


  8. What Ehud said is not accurate. It is true that there are quite a few borderline cases, and sometimes the same person may be diagnosed as having a borderline or mild illness by one psychiatrist and within the normative field by another psychiatrist, but the absolute majority of schizophrenia patients, especially the relatively severe cases, suffer from a chemical medical problem in the brain that has It has a proven physiological and genetic component. There is a proven tendency throughout the history of research for people who have one of their family members to develop a similar mental illness as well. The partial studies carried out in the past on the subject show that genetic research is the right direction to investigate, and locating the responsible genes will make it significantly easier to diagnose the tendency to mental illness and will give doctors more effective tools when they come to recommend to people in the genetic risk group to avoid consuming alcohol or hallucinogens, for example, who have a high risk of for the outbreak of the disease, or even to recommend preventive drug treatment.

  9. Ehud never say never.
    It is true that today's drugs treat the symptoms and not the cause of the disease. It is true that there is a mixture of genetic predisposition and a morbid effect here, such as a diabetic patient who has the genetic background but the disease will not break out if he does not use sugar, but even in diabetes, the symptoms are treated and the disease is not eliminated (the sugar is balanced with medication).
    The matter is not "bullshit and a waste of time" every effort should be made to find better medicines.
    Most of the responses on various websites and here too are romantic and see patients as victims who want to harm them or as misunderstood geniuses, but the truth is that they are people who suffer a lot and put themselves at greater risk when they are sick and sometimes they suffer more when they are in remission from the disease and the awareness of their actions is revealed to them (they do not forget), Not to mention the suffering they cause the family and those around them.
    So yes, I hope they discover better drugs because what you see from here you don't see from there.

  10. Perhaps the truth is somewhere in the middle of the sex, there is probably some genetic factor that determines a tendency to the disease, but the environmental and psychological conditions affect its development, who knows, it may be the same gene that is responsible for genius in people, if I'm not mistaken, schizophrenics are very anitilginic people and it's always about the border trigger in between.

  11. The hypothesis that there is a genetic factor to the disease seems reasonable to me.
    If a genetic factor is found then there is hope to find a cure for it.

  12. First of all, his name is Ehud, not Ohad...
    And what makes you think differently?
    There is a certain truth in his words that there is no test today that can differentiate between a mentally healthy person and a mentally ill person other than a psychiatrist's impression of the person sitting in front of him based on speech, behavior, etc...
    At the same time, it is possible that in the future they will be able to better understand mental illnesses or mental deficiencies resulting from brain damage
    Today there really are still no objective biological tests that can differentiate between the mentally ill and the sane

  13. Goofing off and wasting time, they will never be able to identify a biological component in mental illnesses whose definition is behavioral. And in simple words, psychiatry is not an exact science and will never be one.

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