Investigation of genetic alterations in individuals with psychotic symptoms
Brazil (IFMSA-Brazil)- Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Parana Londrina (PUC PR - Londrina), Londrina
Department of Psychiatry
Luiz Carlos Cantanhede Fernandes Júnior
Luiz Carlos Cantanhede Fernandes Júnior
English (required); Spanish, portuguese (accepted).
4 weeks
Cities/Months Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Augt Sep Oct Nov Dec
No No No Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No
Type of Research Project
- Clinical Project with Laboratory work
What is the background of the project?
Psychosis is a mental condition of loss of contact with external reality. According to DSM-5, the symptoms include delirium, hallucination, disorganization of thought and discourse, motor disorganization, including catatonia. Psychotic symptoms imply severe limitations in the social, professional and person al functioning. In addition, the occurrence of psychosis is associated with higher rates of drug abuse and dependence, as a way to reduce psychic suffering, and is a major risk factor for suicidal ideation and behaviour. The search for genetic markers for mental disorders has been shown to be more a nd more relevant, since its identification allows the development of more sensitive and specific diagnostic methods in relation to the current ones and improves the treatment and prognosis of these patients. Currently, one of the most researched genes is ZNF804A, whose rs1344706 polymorphism has been associated with ahigher risk of developing psychotic symptoms
What is the aim of the project?
The aim of the project is to investigate the frequency of rs1344706 polymorphism in the ZNF804A gene in individuals who evolved with psychotic symptoms and in control individuals, compare the results of these populations and verify if there is a direct causal relationship between the presence of rs1344706 polymorphism in the ZNF804A gene and the development of psychotic symptoms.
What techniques and methods are used?
The project is a control-case. Population and sample:Formed by 120 people, from 18 to 60 years, divided into two groups, Steps: 1) DNA extraction from the buccal swab using sterile microbrush. 2) Genotyping of the rs1344706 polymorphism of the ZNF804A gene by Chain Reaction Polimerase 3) Statistical analysis
What is the role of the student?
- The student will mainly observe
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
The student will observe the practical experiments and “lab work” (molecular genetic laboratory) with the active part in the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), eletrophoresis techniques, DNA extraction and quantification of itto genotyping and will the student collect peripheral blood .The student will make the statistical analyzes of the results well as Allele and genotype frequencies and the Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium that will be calculated by chi-squared test using the SNPStats online software.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
Yes, preliminary reading, all the procedures will be teach by the tutor or an experient student, they might participate of some seminars too.
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student’s name will be mentioned in a future publication
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts:
- Medical students
- Steinberg; S. et al; 2011. Expanding the range of ZNF804A variants conferring risk of psychosis.
- Donohoe; G.; Morris; D.W.; Corvin; A.; 2010. The psychosis susceptibility gene ZNF804A: associations; functions; and phenotypes.