Gene Discovered That May Play Role in Anxiety, Schizophrenia

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A gene called Gomafu that was recently discovered by researchers influences how the body responds to stress and may play a significant role in anxiety and schizophrenia.

Researchers from the University of California, Irvine, University of Queensland (Australia) and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, Australia, found that when Gomafu switches off, behavioral changes begin to happen, and those changes are similar to what is seen in anxiety and schizophrenia, they reported in the journal Biological Psychiatry.

The gene is a long, noncoding RNA and was found within a section of the genome most associated with so-called "junk" DNA, the 98% of the human genome that, until recently, was thought to have no function. The researchers note this is the first time long, noncoding RNA activity has been detected in the brain in response to experience.

The researchers also discovered that noncoding genes such as Gomafu might serve as a kind of surveillance system that has evolved so that the brain can rapidly respond to environmental changes. Timothy W. Bredy, PhD, assistant professor of neurobiology & behavior at UC Irvine, said in a statement that disruption of this brain network could contribute to the development of neuropsychiatric disorders.

The researchers added that they hope the discovery will allow for better prediction of and resilience to developing certain psychiatric disorders.

Depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia have more in common than previously thought.
Gene Discovered That May Play Role in Anxiety, Schizophrenia

Scientists have found a gene that is believed to be responsible for anxiety.

Medical experts suggest that anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and it can also be beneficial in certain situations. However, anxiety can also be excessive in some people who may find it difficult to control. Such excessive anxiety can also affect a person's day to day life.

International researchers from the University of California, Irvine and University of Queensland and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney have reported that a gene called Gomafu may help to understand a brain's response to stressful situations. The researchers found that Gomafu is dynamically synchronized in the brain of an adult.

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