Schizophrenia

Timothy K Hamilton / Flickr

Scientists have long known that there is a link between schizophrenia and rheumatoid arthritis. People who suffer from schizophrenia tend not to develop rheumatoid arthritis, and people with rheumatoid arthritis are at low risk for schizophrenia.

Though this relationship has been clear for more than 50 years, nobody really knew why the link existed, according to University of Pittsburgh professor of psychiatry and human genetics Vishwajit Nimgaonkar.

“We thought that there might be genetic factors that might explain this phenomenon,” he said.

The University of Pittsburgh has received a $10 million grant to be used to research a new hypothesis on schizophrenia.

The grant was received from the National Institute of Mental Health and will be distributed to the university over the next five years. The Silvio O. Conte Center for Translational Mental Health Research will be established because of the grant and will be directed by David Lewis, the chair of Pitt’s Department for Psychiatry.

The hypothesis focuses on the structure of the brain as the cause for schizophrenia.