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Why do you think it has been so difficult to identify genes underlying schizophrenia? Rachel asked to see a genetic counselor because she was concerned about developing schizophrenia. Her mother and maternal grandmother both had schizophrenia and were institutionalized for most of their adult lives. Rachel’s three maternal aunts are all in their 60s and have not shown any signs of this disease. Rachel’s father is alive and healthy, and his family history does not suggest any behavioral or genetic conditions. The genetic counselor discussed the multifactorial nature of schizophrenia and explained that many candidate genes have been identified that may be mutated in individuals with the condition. However, a genetic test is not available for presymptomatic testing. The counselor explained that based on Rachel’s family history and her relatedness to individuals who have schizophrenia, her risk of developing it is approximately 13%. If an altered gene is in the family and her mother carries the gene, Rachel has a 50% chance of inheriting it.

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Human Heredity: Principles and Iss...

11th Edition
Michael Cummings
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781305251052

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Human Heredity: Principles and Iss...

11th Edition
Michael Cummings
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781305251052
Chapter 18, Problem 1CS
Textbook Problem
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Why do you think it has been so difficult to identify genes underlying schizophrenia?

Rachel asked to see a genetic counselor because she was concerned about developing schizophrenia. Her mother and maternal grandmother both had schizophrenia and were institutionalized for most of their adult lives. Rachel’s three maternal aunts are all in their 60s and have not shown any signs of this disease. Rachel’s father is alive and healthy, and his family history does not suggest any behavioral or genetic conditions. The genetic counselor discussed the multifactorial nature of schizophrenia and explained that many candidate genes have been identified that may be mutated in individuals with the condition. However, a genetic test is not available for presymptomatic testing. The counselor explained that based on Rachel’s family history and her relatedness to individuals who have schizophrenia, her risk of developing it is approximately 13%. If an altered gene is in the family and her mother carries the gene, Rachel has a 50% chance of inheriting it.

Summary Introduction

To describe: The difficulties to identify genes underlying schizophrenia.

Introduction: Schizophrenia is characterized by thought disorders, delusions, and anti-social behavior. This is much common in children and at least lasts for 6 months. Schizophrenia is found within a region of DNA located on chromosome 6. The genes underlying the disease are still unknown.

Explanation of Solution

Schizophrenia is a behavioral disorder that causes widespread human suffering. Several genetic studies have shown that hundreds of genes are linked to schizophrenia. Each gene contributes a small part to the risk of developing the disease.

Therefore, a mutation in a gene does not confirm the presence of schizophrenia. Similarly, if someone has schizophrenia with a mutation in a gene also does not mean that this mutation is responsible for the behavior of the respective person.

Hence, it is difficult to find genetic determinants underlying schizophrenia.

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