Topics: Sleep, Genetics, Drosophila Pages: 9 (2993 words) Published: April 2, 2013
How the Loss of Dysbindin, a Schizophrenia Susceptibility Gene, Affects Sleep Patterns in Drosophila
Links between genes and mental disorders have been found throughout science. One mental malady being focused on today is schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is shown to have many sources or possible causes (Maier, 2008); however the primary and most studied cause is the link between schizophrenia and the dysibindin gene. Statement of Problem

The problem being studied is whether dysbindin is the cause for sleep disruption in schizophrenic patients. Research Design
In order to conduct this research, an ANOVA will be used to. The goal is to identify the affects that the loss of dysibindin function has on sleep patterns in Drosophila melanogaster and whether these patterns are different from that of Drosophila with similar genetic background used as controls. Four different genotypes will be used to show the difference in sleep patterns in the fruit flies. The genotypes are piggybac, dysb^rev, C155 W1118 and C155 x dysb RNAi. Piggybac is the main mutation with full dysbindin knockdown. Dysb^rev is the reverse of piggybac and one of the controls. C155 W1118 is another control with similar genetic back to that of C155 x dysb RNAi, which is not a complete knockdown of dysbindin. Purpose

A combination of the theory that dysbindin is a schizophrenia susceptibility gene and the knowledge that many schizophrenic patients suffer from sleep disruption, Drosophila melanogaster can be tested and the results interpreted to see if loss of dysbindin function will cause sleep disruption or fragmentation. Significance

Because schizophrenia is a dangerous mental disease that can cause harm to the affected individual as well as others who they are in contact with , it is important to find a way to cure or aid those who are affected. One clear affect of schizophrenia on the patient affected is sleep disruption. A common complaint of schizophrenic patients is sleep disruption (Auslander & Jeste, 2002, as cited in Pritchett et al., 2012). With this, research should be conducted to observe the affects of schizophrenia and possible ways of reproducing these affects on testable subjects. Literature Review

Schizophrenia is a disabling mental disorder. Symptoms that characterize schizophrenia clinically are positive symptoms, negative symptoms, and cognitive deficits (Balu & Coyle, 2010). However, the symptom that is the primary focus in this study is the affect that schizophrenia has on sleep patterns. Sleep Patterns

Schizophrenia and sleep patterns have a co-morbid relationship. Schizophrenia is a disorder of distributed brain circuits, affecting a range of neurotransmitter systems (Weinberger and Harrison 2011 as cited in Pritchett et al., 2012). Because schizophrenia affects neurotransmitter systems and sleep is the result of interactions between multiple brain regions and neurotransmitters (Pritchett et al., 2012), the neurotransmitters that are affected by schizophrenia often overlap with those involved in sleep regulation (Wulff et al., 2010 as cited in Pritchett et al., 2012). Therefore, sleep disruption is common in schizophrenia, and is reported in 30-80 % of participants with schizophrenia (Cohrs, 2008, as cited in Pritchett et al., 2012). Disruption of sleep patterns frequently leads up to any diagnosis of schizophrenia (Wulff et al., 2010 as cited in Pritchett et al., 2012). In a study performed by Auslander and Jeste (2002), patients reported that a high priority in schizophrenia treatment is an improvement in sleep (as cited in Pritchett et al., 2012). According to studies by Cohrs (2008), and Manoach and Stickgold (2009), sleep disruption in schizophrenia includes, but is not limited to, the time needed to achieve sleep, lessening of total time asleep, and the amount of time a person is sleeping versus the amount of time they were in bed (as cited in Pritchett et al., 2012). Though sleep...

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Dickman, D. K., & Davis, G. W. (2009, November 20). Supporting online material for the schizophrenia susceptibility gene dysbindin controls synaptic homestasis. Science , 326.
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Foster, R. G. (2012, April 20). Evaluating the links between schizophrenia and sleep and circadian rhythm disruption. Springer . doi: 10.1007/s00702-012-0817-8
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van Alphen, B
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