METHODS FOR DIAGNOSING, PREVENTING, AND TREATING DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS DUE TO A COMBINATION OF GENETIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS

Invention Summary:

Schizophrenia is a developmental disorder caused by brain damage in a fetus due to maternal genetic and environmental factors. The genetic factors have not been definitively identified due to several factors: 1) involvement of more than one gene 2) uncertainty in the mode of inheritance 3) a high frequency of the allele being tested in the population being screened. The environment around the developing fetus is contributed by maternal components and there is a growing appreciation that a combination of fetal environmental and maternal genetic factors during the second trimester of pregnancy contributes to the development of schizophrenia. A resolution of the precise nature, components, and manner of interaction of the genetic and environmental factors could lead to the prevention of this disease and other developmental disorders that are believed to share common etiological factors.

A 19 base pair deletion in the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) has been shown to have a significant predictive value for the identification of individuals at risk for the development of schizophrenia. Models for the determination of gene inheritance pattern using patient derived tissue samples have been developed. Further, the dietary content of folate, cobalamin, and pyridoxine of pregnant and susceptible individuals has been determined to be predictive of the susceptibility to schizophrenia.

Market Application:

  • To screen and identify individuals genetically susceptible to give birth to schizophrenic individuals
  • To screen and identify individuals susceptible to schizophrenia
  • For the development of a database of environmental reference sets for the identification of environmental factors capable of triggering the disease in  genetic carriers or genetically prone individuals or their off-springs
  • For the development of treatment modalities for individuals identified as susceptible to developmental disorders

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

United States patent numbers: US  6,912,492 granted on June 28, 2005 & US 8,046,198 granted on October 25, 2011 

Rutgers ID: S96-16
Category(s):
Life Sciences
Diagnostics
Contact:
Yong Zhang
Licensing Manager
848-932-4523
yong.zhang@rutgers.edu
Inventors:
William Johnson
Edward Stenroos
Keywords:
Biomarkers
CNS
Genetics