CONTACT: BECKY SOGLIN
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-6660; fax (319) 335-8034
Release: Oct. 11, 2000
(Note to Editors: For individuals living in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North
Dakota and South Dakota, the University of Iowa is the closest institution
participating in the health care study described below.)
Families affected by schizophrenia invited to participate in study
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- People who have either two children or two siblings with
schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder are invited to participate in a
University of Iowa Health Care study on genetic factors associated with the
condition. The two family members with the condition and one additional well
family member will also be asked to participate.
All participants, who have schizophrenia or do not have the condition, must
be 18 years or older and be able to give informed consent to participate in
the study. People who have schizoaffective disorder are also eligible to participate.
Family members can be living in different cities or states and still participate
in the study. Travel to Iowa City is not required. 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. Compensation will be provided.
Researchers hope to draw blood samples from two well family members, siblings
or parents, for each pair of siblings with schizophrenia, said Donald W. Black,
M.D., UI professor of psychiatry and lead investigator for the UI portion
of the study.
For individuals living in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South
Dakota, the UI is the closest institution participating in the study. The
UI is one of nine sites that will send their blood samples to a central testing
location, where scientists will use molecular genetic techniques to identify
genes or gene regions associated with schizophrenia.
"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 Institute of Mental
For more information, call Janelle Gabel, UI research assistant, at (319)
353-4141, or toll-free at (800) 777-8442 and ask to be connected to 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.