Schizophrenia is a serious and long term mental health illness. People who suffer from schizophrenia experience negative changes in their mood and behaviour.
New research shows that people’s genes may affect their chances of developing schizophrenia. (Genes are inside the body – their job is to give the body ‘instructions’. Genes decide what a person looks like, how they behave etc.)
Before now, scientists knew that if people had some specific genes in their body, their risk of developing schizophrenia would be higher.
But this new research shows that 83 new genes that were unknown in the past could also put people at risk of developing schizophrenia.
If you are worried about your own mental health, you will find BSL clips on our Deaf Health Charity website, SignHealth.org.uk.
The genes they found affect the immune system (how the body stays healthy) and the relay of chemical messages in the brain (the body has natural chemicals that move information around).
The research has now led to a new study examining the genes of 37,000 people with schizophrenia, and 110,000 people without it.
Researchers hope this new information will help them to develop new treatments, and to better understand the illness.
Symptoms of Schizophrenia (more information can be found on the NHS website)
- Hallucinations – when a person thinks they can see or hear something when there is nothing there
- Delusions – thinking strange things that cannot be real
- Confusion – because of the hallucinations and delusions
- Strange behaviour
Image Credit: Liz Poaje