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Goldilocks Genes: Researchers Found Cause For Schizophrenia, Autism, Heart Disease

Update Date: Feb 09, 2017 07:26 AM EST

Goldilocks genes play a key role in causing schizophrenia, autism and heart disease, according to researchers. This latest development could provide better treatment for these diseases in the future.

Researchers at Trinity College Dublin have found out a short list of genes in our bodies that can cause a wide range of diseases in a person called Goldilocks. They looked into how genes evolve over time and found out that some do not replicate or be deleted in a way most genes do.

As the researchers trace the evolution of Goldilocks, they discovered that the genes have a role to play in various human diseases including autism, cancer, epilepsy, heart disease and schizophrenia. Professor Aoife McLysaght said that treatment for these conditions could be personalized in the future. The isolation of specific genes that are linked to these disorders will help doctors understand how and why they develop. It will also lead to better diagnosis and help develop therapies.

According to the professor, schizophrenia can be treated in multiple ways, but if the gene that caused the condition can be identified, a drug can be prescribed that will work better for the individual. There are more than 20,000 genes that contain the all-important codes used to produce proteins in the body.

Goldilocks genes have properties that duplicate too much or too little. Or simply, they do not work properly, explained McLysaght. The number of copy number variant (CNV) must be just right. Genes that are the key to human development, those that are already working at an early embryonic stage, are the more important genes.

The discovery of the researchers in Dublin allows more understanding of the human disease. The evolutionary history is important according to the professor. Other disorders linked to Goldilocks genes are ADHD, intellectual ability, developmental delay and epilepsy.

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