The genetic causes of psychiatric disorders such as depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (manic-depressive disorder) are found to be related. This is the conclusion of a study by scientists from the Free University of Amsterdam, together with international colleagues works published in Nature Genetics .
Scientists investigated the genetic information of more than 75,000 people. Genes were found to play the same role in people with the same disorder as expected. But it was surprising that there are strong genetic similarities between people with different mental disorders. “Genetically psychiatric disorders appear more alike than we thought”, said Danielle Posthuma, professor at the Center for Genomics and Cognitive Neuro Research of the Free University. Apparently they have a common biological cause and treatment methods currently used for one psychiatric disorder may also work in the other condition. Despite the impact on patients and their social environment there is still much unknown about the origin of these psychiatric disorders. the professor says “Once we know which genes play a role in its occurrence, we can do more focused research to understand the biological causes of psychiatric disorders and then we can develop new treatment methods”.