Three separate teams analysed thousands of DNA samples in the biggest study ever into the genetics of schizophrenia, and the findings showed that the illness can come from common as well as rare genetic forms. It’s thought that this could count for around a third of the inherited risk of schizophrenia.
There were around 30,000 tiny genetic variations identified as being more common in those who had schizophrenia, and similar results were also found in those who had bipolar disease, linking the two illnesses.
Paul Corry, of the mental health charity Rethink, said: “This exciting research brings us one step closer to understanding the causes of schizophrenia, but we are still a long way from a full explanation.
“Most of the genetic contribution to this illness is still unknown and it is crucial to realise that genes are only part of the picture – environmental and social factors, such as drug use or trauma, can exacerbate or even trigger schizophrenia.”