444 Psychology and Genetics

Research by Mukai, Jun; Cannavò, Enrico; Crabtree, Gregg W.; Sun, Ziyi; Diamantopoulou, Anastasia; Thakur, Pratibha; Chang, Chia-Yuan; Cai, Yifei; Lomvardas, Stavros; Takata, Atsushi; Xu, Bin; & Gogos, Joseph A.(2019) Recapitulation and Reversal of Schizophrenia-Related Phenotypes in Setd1a-Deficient Mice. Neuron, 104(3)471-487. doi:10.1016/j.neuron. 2019.09.014

Written by Robin N. Fatovic M.S.

Disparate branches of science (like biology, chemistry, and psychology) create new understandings and technologies. Applying these developments across disciplines can lead to major breakthroughs.

Medical researchers from Japan, China, and the US collaborated in analyzing the behavior and genetic codes of mice with a mutation in the SETD 1A gene. This mutation turned off the gene, thereby affecting brain development. But wait—what does this have to do with psychology? Previous research shows that this special gene in humans impacts the development of schizophrenia, which is a psychological disorder that usually involves delusions and hallucinations. People with this disorder might have some thinking difficulties. The researchers tried to “turn on” this gene in the mice to see if they could improve some of these mental symptoms. They were successful! They reversed the effects using a medication that targeted this gene.

This study shows that our thoughts, behaviors, and even genetics are changeable. This can lead to changes in our brains, and more importantly, changes in our cognitive functions and life satisfaction. Collaboration and understanding across different sciences may advance the creation of life-changing therapies

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