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Posted: 5/4/2015

Scientists find genetic link between schizophrenia and strabismus

Denver, Colo. – Researchers have identified a genetic link between schizophrenia and strabismus, a condition involving misalignment of the eyes. The research is being presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) this week in Denver, Colo. 

Scientists showed that the medial eye muscle in children and adults with strabismus – the muscle that causes the eye to point inward – has an abnormal expression of about two dozen signaling molecules. Nearly half of those signaling molecules are also known biomarkers for schizophrenia. This suggests that imbalances in key signaling molecules are related in the development of both diseases.

While doctors have known that many people with schizophrenia have vision problems, only recently have studies shown that children with one type of strabismus are more likely to develop schizophrenia later in life. With these new findings, doctors may be able to develop a genetic tool to assess the risk of a child with strabismus developing schizophrenia as an adult. 

Abstract Title: Evidence for a Novel Genetic Link between Strabismus and Schizophrenia
Presentation Start/End Time: Monday, May 4, 9:15 – 9:30am
Location: 4CD Mile High Blrm
Abstract Number: 1330

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The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) is the largest eye and vision research organization in the world. Members include nearly 12,000 eye and vision researchers from over 75 countries. ARVO advances research worldwide into understanding the visual system and preventing, treating and curing its disorders. 

All abstracts accepted for presentation at the ARVO Annual Meeting represent previously unpublished data and conclusions. This research may be proprietary or may have been submitted for journal publication. Embargo policy: Journalists must seek approval from the presenter(s) before reporting data from paper or poster presentations. Press releases or stories on information presented at the ARVO Annual Meeting may not be released or published until the conclusion of the presentation.