CONTACT: BECKY SOGLIN
2130 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-6660; fax (319) 335-8034
Release: July 6, 2000
Siblings with schizophrenia and their families invited to participate
in UI study
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Siblings with schizophrenia are invited to participate
in a University of Iowa Health Care study on genetic factors associated with
the condition. Family members without the condition may also be asked to participate.
Participants must be 18 years or older, have a blood-related brother or
sister who also has schizophrenia and be able to give informed consent to
participate in the study. Participants will be interviewed, asked to answer
a questionnaire and have a small blood sample drawn. Individuals can either
participate through at least one visit to the UI Hospitals and Clinics, or
participate in a telephone interview and have a local physician draw the blood
sample. In most cases, the participation can be completed in one or two sessions.
In addition, the researchers hope to draw blood samples from two well family
members, siblings or parents, for each pair of siblings with schizophrenia.
Family members can be living in different cities or states, and arrangements
can be made for blood samples to be locally drawn.
Compensation will be provided.
The UI is one of nine sites participating in the study, said Donald W. Black,
M.D., UI professor of psychiatry and lead investigator for the UI portion
of the study. All nine sites, eight in the United States and one in Australia,
will send their blood samples to a central testing location, where scientists
will use molecular genetic techniques to identify genes or gene regions associated
"Schizophrenia can be a devastating illness and affects many people,"
Black said. "Identifying the gene or genes related to the condition is
He added that although schizophrenia is not rare, affecting .5 to 1 percent
of the population, finding two people with schizophrenia in one family is
far less common.
The study is funded in part by a grant from the National Institutes of Mental
For more information, call Black at (319) 353-4431 or Janelle Gable, UI
research assistant, at (319) 353-4141.
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the
UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care,
medical education and research programs and services they provide.