Duplication, instead of deletion, can protect against schizophrenia
Bearden’s previous study revealed that genetic material on the chromosome 22 triggers the disorder known as 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. This syndrome can lead to heart abnormalities, developmental delays, and distinct facial features. Based on findings from her previous study, she learned that while deletion was linked to autism, duplication of the genetic material seemed to provide some sort of a protection shield against schizophrenia.
For her current study, Bearden conducted MRI examinations in one-hundred and forty-three participants involved in the study – sixty-six with 22q deletions, fifty-six without the genetic mutation, and twenty-one with 22q duplications.