Today, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) will host a two day International Brain and Behaviour Consortium meeting on Chromosome 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome (22q11.2DS). Patients with this genetic disorder have high rates of schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders. This meeting will bring together leading researchers from around the world to examine how the study of this genetic condition can increase our understanding of the causes of schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders.
22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome (22q11.2DS) is a syndrome caused by the deletion of a small piece of chromosome 22. The International Consortium has recently received grant funding of US$12 million from the National Institutes of Health (USA) to examine the genetic reasons for the high rates of schizophrenia and other disorders in people who are affected with 22q11.2DS.
Speaking on the conference, Professor Raquel Gur, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Consortium Lead said: 'On behalf of the International Brain Behaviour Consortium and many individual and families affected by 22q11.2DS, we are deeply grateful to our hosts in Dublin. The funding from the National Institutes of Health in the US will provide us with the opportunity to advance the understanding of this under-recognised neurogenetic condition. The knowledge generated can provide a window to the brain that will benefit millions throughout the world.'
The conference will discuss the goals of the International Brain and Behaviour Consortium, in planning to implement genetic strategies to identify the causes of schizophrenia in 22q11.2DS and in the general population.
Professor Kieran Murphy, Professor of Psychiatry at the School of Medicine, RCSI and member of the Consortium said: 'I am delighted to welcome delegates from around the world to Dublin for this important meeting. By helping to discover the causes of schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders in people with this genetic condition, we hope to be able to develop new and better treatments for schizophrenia and other severely disabling psychiatric disorders.'
The effects of 22q11.2DS vary from person to person and is not always diagnosed quickly. Common side effects of this condition can include heart, eye and kidney issues, learning difficulties, Velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI) and cleft palate as well as emotional and mental health concerns.
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland