Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder affecting approximately 1% of the world’s population. Although the aetiology of schizophrenia is complex and multifactorial, with estimated heritabilities as high as 80%, genetic factors are the most compelling. Childhood-onset schizophrenia (COS), defined as onset of schizophrenia before the age of 13 years, is a rare and malignant form of the illness that may have more salient genetic influence. The first known case of paternal segmental uniparental isodisomy (iUPD) on 5q32-qter in a patient with COS is described, which adds to the previously known high rates of chromosomal abnormalities reported in this sample. iUPD is a rare genetic condition in which the offspring receives two chromosomal homologues from one parent. Segmental UPD is defined as UPD on a portion of a chromosome with biparental inheritance seen in the rest of the homologous pair. Complications owing to this abnormality may arise from malfunctioning imprinted genes or homozygosity of recessive disease-causing mutations. This aberration became apparent during whole-genomic screening of a COS cohort and is of particular interest because 5q has been implicated in schizophrenia by several genomewide linkage studies and positive gene associations. This report, therefore, presents more evidence that schizophrenia susceptibility gene, or genes, may be found on distal 5q.
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Published Online First 8 June 2006
Competing interests: None declared.
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