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Similar gene activity seen across some psychiatric disorders

A mouse astrocyte.
Astrocytes (in green) are seen here in a mouse brain. Credit: NICHD

Scientists have found similar patterns of genes activity in psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar and autism, according to a study published Thursday in Science. They've also discovered some key differences, particularly in major depressive disorder and alcohol abuse disorder.

Why it matters: Some genetic risk factors have been identified for certain psychiatric diseases, but knowing where and when a particular gene is expressed is crucial for developing better diagnostic tools and treatment.