Depression, alcoholism, and other psychiatric
illnesses share disease-related “signatures”
involving a disruption in how brain cells
communicate with each other.
The study, entitled “Shared molecular neuropathology across major psychiatric disorders parallels polygenic overlap,” by Michael J. Gandal et. al., appears in Science, February 9, 2018.
A Washington Post article on the study says:
“The scientists found similar levels of particular molecules in the brains of people with autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder; other commonalities between bipolar and major depression; and other matches between major depression and alcoholism.
“We’re on the threshold to using genomics and molecular technology to look at [mental illness] in a way we’ve never been able to do before,” said Daniel Geschwind, a neurogeneticist at the University of California at Los Angeles and a leader of the study. “Psychiatric disorders have no obvious pathology in the brain, but now we have the genomic tools to ask what actually goes awry in these brains.”