Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

How strong are schiz gene in family?

My father was a paranoid schizophrenic and he declined as he aged. He had a bad drinking and drug abuse problem whenever he was younger and a lot of people thought he was just burn up. I’ve always been a little bit of a hermit but also very outgoing when I was out and about. The last few years I try not to leave the house if I don’t have to. I know I am paranoid over small things and have some PTSD and anxiety and depression. I started hearing music or like the TV was on and I would go to turn it off and it wasn’t on, and that’s been happening for a couple of years and lately it’s been “mom” like my kids are yelling to me from across the house and they arnt. I did ancestry dna in 2017 and went back across it a few months ago and saw a bunch of gene variations for schizophrenia. My daughter 16 called me today and said Last night when she walked to her car at the ballfield she heard a man say “hey!” And no one was there and she knew it was in her head but seemed to be. She doesn’t know about me hearing stuff or my dad, he passed away 5 years ago. Is this normal or is it something I should look into. I already take meds for antidepressant adhd anxiety, my daughter has tried an antidepressant

Hey KCM. Good to hear from you with your thoughts and concerns. You’ve found a good place to present them.
Considering we know that these types of mental illness are in fact genetic and run in families, and your father was diagnosed, and you yourself may have experienced symptoms, it makes sense to me that you might consider talking with your doctor about your own experiences as well as your fathers history. Also in response to your daughter I might be as open with her as possible about your family history and your own experiences if you are able. I personally advocate for as much open communication and honesty between family members as possible when we know these types of potentially debilitating things for our children are lurking in our backgrounds. Research as much as you can. Get yourself as well informed as you can on schizophrenia. And be open with your doctors too.
I’ve never done an ancestry but I wasn’t aware that they gave you that specific of information on gene variations. I’d be interested personally to know what that actually looked like if you’re willing to talk about it. Not yours specifically, just the whole layout you received with what kinds of information. I’ve considered it for myself before but never actually got one done.
Welcome. Hope to hear from you soon.

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The hereditary component of schizophrenia is strong, but there is nothing you can do about. Concentrate on things you can do something about, like taking care of yourself and watch for signals on your daughter so you are there if she needs help. Be sincere with her about your family history so she is educated on the illness and take control of it if she has to.

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Ancestry DNA does not report on schizophrenia risk; perhaps you’ve submitted your raw data to another service that claimed to do that for you? There are hundreds (maybe thousands) of genetic variants that contribute to schizophrenia risk so it is expected that you have a bunch – everyone has a bunch – but there is a tendency that people with more of these variants will be at higher risk. There are ways of estimating the overall risk due to these variants but they are not super effective and this is not a particularly useful diagnostic tool. A family history of schizophrenia is more informative than current genetic testing can be.

Hello Wisdom!
I am open with my daughter about our family history, I may have not put names to the illnesses but she knew my dad and could see his issues. We talk about depression and anxiety and the hole you can find yourself in. Nothing new in 3 days…
I had my AncestryDNA done in 2015, for the purpose of a family tree. A few years later AncestryDNA Health could be linked and they would give you a small report and it had heart health, cancer markers and physical traits. You could also download the raw data. Genomapp is the one that showed mental illness and promethease specifically showed Schizophrenia and has an autonomous chat. A huge percent of people diagnosed with it later looks and that gene is there! I think this kind of testing will help! It shows which prescriptions your resistant to and which could help! United health care is now covering gene testing to see which medications to use for cancer treatment, infections and mental illness! I hope more start!

I agree with you! I think one day it will help a lot of people from the medication point! Many years can be spent finding the right drug!

This example of rs4129148 is what we call a “false positive” result. The study reporting this is flawed, and it is a bad thing that Promethease is reporting this as a real risk factor. A large percent of people with schizophrenia carry this marker because most of the population has it! This is a serious issue with Promethease, that they report all results that have been published, including results from older, small studies that are extremely unreliable.
(I am speaking with some authority because I am a statistical geneticist with 25 years of experience in this field – there are no common genetic variants that have a true 3x risk of schizophrenia)

Very interesting… thanks for that