What is the cause of schizophrenia when there is no family history of the disorder?

Updated: Mar 16, 2018
  • Author: Frances R Frankenburg, MD; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Answer

Some people with schizophrenia have no family history of the disorder. These cases may be the result of new mutations. De novo mutations in the exome (the part of the chromosome that codes for proteins) seem to be more common in patients with schizophrenia than would otherwise be expected. [40, 41] In a pair of exome sequencing studies, researchers identified de novo genetic mutations in patients with schizophrenia that cluster in specific proteins involved in brain function and overlap with mutations that have been identified in patients with autism, mental retardation and intellectual disability. [42, 43]


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