FRIDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- A study of twins has shown that a high density of dopamine D1 receptors increases the risk of schizophrenia, researchers report in the October issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.
Jarmo Hietala, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Turku in Finland, and colleagues examined D1 receptor binding in nine twin pairs discordant for schizophrenia (four monozygotic and five dizygotic), two additional unaffected co-twins and 13 healthy comparison twins, by positron emission tomography.
The researchers found that high D1 receptor binding in the medial prefrontal cortex, superior temporal gyrus and angular gyrus was associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia. There was also a widespread reduction in D1 receptor binding in medicated schizophrenia patients and a lower receptor binding in the frontotemporal regions in patients treated with high doses of anti-psychotic drugs.
"This study demonstrated an association between genetic risk for schizophrenia and alterations in cortical D1 receptor binding, an observation that has implications for future studies of the molecular genetics of schizophrenia," the authors conclude.
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