Researcher Wins Grant for $1.9 Million to study Schizophrenia

University of Arizona researcher, Dr. Amelia Gallitano was recently awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health for $1.9 Million to study schizophrenia.

According to the University of Arizona, the illness can affect over 50 million people in the world.
Gallitano will be researching the possibility of mediating the effects of environmental factors, by studying proteins specifically related to the mental illnes.

Dr. Stuart Flynn, the Dean of University of Arizona said Gallitano's research may help us understand and identify some of the early environmental interventions to keep people from developing schizophrenia.

In the U.S. over $22.7 billion dollars are spent on health care alone for schizophrenia, while in 2004 in Canada the estimated cost of healthcare for schizophrenia is over $2.02 billion. This leads to both high unemployment and loss of productivity for anyone with the illness.

The research performed by Dr. Gallitano can reduce activity in the brains of the patients with schizophrenia.
Her study involves defining the function of a gene which is involved in responses to stress, memory, and emotional behavior. When there is a loss of this gene, it disupts the pathways for normal brain function, and plays a critcial role in the development of schizophrenia.