""In patients with schizophrenia, a variation in a single position in the DNA sequence marks too many synapses for removal and that pruning goes out of control. The result is an abnormal loss of gray matter.
"The genes involved coat the neurons with "eat-me signals," said study co-author Beth Stevens, a neuroscientist at Children's Hospital and Broad. "They are tagging too many synapses. And they're gobbled up.""
A cure is still a long way off, obviously, but it offers hope that the causal mechanism(s) can be further clarified and therapies eventually developed. You might not be aware that I'm an Open Science advocate - well, you do now - so I found this part a heartening read:
"This could not have been done five years ago," said Hyman. "This required the ability to reference a very large dataset. When I was [NIMH] director, people really resisted collaborating. They were still in the Pharaoh era. They wanted to be buried with their data."