Biomarker Identified for Treatment-Resistant Schizophrenia

NIH Discovers New "Genomic Variants" in Schizophrenia
NIH Discovers New “Genomic Variants” in Schizophrenia
A mutation in a gene involved in the production of dopamine and serotonin was found in patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia.

Researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine have discovered a genetic biomarker that could help identify schizophrenia patients who are resistant to antipsychotic drugs, who account for about 30 percent of all such patients.

In the treatment-resistant group, the researchers found a mutation in the dopa decarboxylase gene, which is involved in the production of dopamine and serotonin. Certain variations of this gene have been linked to psychosis in previous studies.

Many patients who were once treatment-resistant do eventually respond to a drug called clozapine. However, it’s usually not administered in early treatment stages due to potentially severe side effects and required weekly blood monitoring. 

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