New gene provides hope for tackling neuropsychiatric disease

26th February 2015

American and Australian scientists have found how a novel gene can impact brain function and change behaviour related to neuropsychiatric disease.

Timothy W. Bredy, assistant professor of neurobiology & behavior at UC Irvine, worked with colleagues to at the University of Queensland and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney to identify that the Gomafu gene may be key to identifying how the brain reacts to stress.

Mr Bredy explained: “Early biologists thought that DNA sequences that do not make protein were remnants of our evolutionary history, but the fact is these sequences are actually highly dynamic and exert a profound influence on us.”

He added that noncoding genes including Gomafu may represent a surveillance system that has grown so the brain can respond to environment changes. 

Mr Bredy identified that a disruption in this network of the brain may lead to neuropsychiatric disorders developing, which could be helped by Gomafu. 

Posted by Edward Bartel

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