Possible fetal brain link to mental illness

October 26, 2011

Yale University researchers say the genes suspected of causing autism, schizophrenia and other mental illnesses are activated in the developing brain before birth.

They examined more than 1,200 tissue samples at different stages of brain development. They tracked thousands of human genes to determine which are involved in development, where they are located and when they are expressed or activated.

Researchers say their study revealed a significant amount of the human brain is shaped before birth.

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