A large team of researchers have developed the most detailed model of the brain's genetic landscape, which incorporates not only the genes that do, but also the regulatory genes, responsible for managing the speed of synthesis of your own products or several gene, as well as cellular data and other information related to developing the brain throughout human life.
The project, which started in 2015, has invested more than 50 million dollars contributed by the United States National Institute of Mental Health. It has counted with the participation of more than a dozen research centers and dozens of experts in cell biology, genetics and bioinformatics.
The research analyzed data of almost 2,000 human bias and assembled for decades. The results are published in a series of 11 articles collected in Science, Science Feedback, and Science Translation Medicine.
The amount of data collected on the unique gene activity and regulatory networks that are managed throughout the course allows scientists to assess the risk of contracting diseases, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, with up to six times more accurate than through a traditional analysis of known genetic risk variations.
The researchers also found that these risk fluctuations could influence the function of genes at a very early stage of their development and throughout their lives, but also that they are more likely to manifest as symptoms, as they form different groups or modules during the different stages of brain development.
The findings also indicate that the risk of developing a number of mental disorders, such as autism or schizophrenia, may vary over time. The healthy development of the brain and the neurological function depends on the precise regulation of gene expression, which varies significantly according to the region and the type of cells in the human brain, the research this has decided.
The research found that differences in the types of cells that exist in 16 regions of the human brain during the development can be a key factor in determining whether a genetic risk involves a neuropsychiatric disorder.
Another finding of this multiple investigation is that the greater variation in cell types and in the presence of gene expression occurs early in indigenous development, reduces the end of pregnancy and early childhood, and begins to increase again in the early puberty
The researchers also pointed out that risk-related gene tends to form different networks or modules in some areas of the brain during these periods of greatest change in brain development.
Autism-related modules tend to form early brain development and are those associated with schizophrenia, as well as the IQ and neurotics. (emotional instability), tend to form later in life.
This could explain why neuropsychiatric disorders, such as autism, appear during early childhood and schizophrenia, says researchers. The analysis also shows how the diseases that are related to the disease are also expressed in certain types of cells, which help determine the extent and the effect of the genetic fluctuations that are associated with the specific disease.