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New research: The eight disorders that comprise schizophrenia




Komang, 27, who is diagnosed with Schizophrenia, sits in her room where she is chained May 4, 2012 in Buleleng, Bali, Indonesia.
Komang, 27, who is diagnosed with Schizophrenia, sits in her room where she is chained May 4, 2012 in Buleleng, Bali, Indonesia.
Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

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New research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis shows that schizophrenia is not one disorder, but eight genetically distinct disorders. Each has its own set of symptoms, and beginning to distinguish between them could lead to improved diagnosis and treatment.

The groundbreaking research identified genetic variations and the way they impact symptoms including hallucinations and delusions. Schizophrenia has long been correlated with genetic inheritance, but further honing in on a particular disorder could change treatment for the debilitating disease.

The team at Washington University said their findings came out of a new approach to schizophrenia research, which typically focuses on single genes -- instead, the investigators looked at groups of genes working together.

How could these findings change the approach to diagnosing and treating schizophrenia? What impact will the research have on the mental health community?

Guest:

Dr. Dragan Svrakic, MD, Ph.D, professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, senior author of the schizophrenia study