Schizophrenia and rheumatoid arthritis may have a previously unknown connection.
Schizophrenia and rheumatoid arthritis don’t seem to have a lot in common, aside from being often debilitating conditions that each affect around 1 percent of the population. One is a psychiatric disorder and the other an auto-immune condition, but new research has confirmed there is a genetic trade-off between the two, with gene variations that make people more susceptible to one reducing the risk of the other. The work has identified eight genes that appear to play a role in this biological see-saw, providing opportunities to learn about both conditions.
We know that environmental conditions partially determine whether someone will suffer the confusion and false perceptions associated with schizophrenia or the joint pain caused by the body’s immune system’s attack on its own cells that defines rheumatoid arthritis. Nevertheless, both also run in families and are known to have a strong genetic component, estimated at 70 percent for schizophrenia.
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