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February 10, 2016

A common but complex clinical brain disorder, schizophrenia affects one percent of the world's population and is a severe, chronic and generally disabling brain disease. Schizophrenia is a psychosis that contorts and disrupts normal thoughts, speech and behavior.

"Schizophrenia is one of the leading medical causes of disability," Braff said. "It often strikes early in life and lasts a long time. It is thus one of the world's biggest public health problems and challenges."

Originally launched in April 2003, COGS was first funded by NIMH from 2003 to 2008. By May 2008, more than 2,000 patients and family member participants had been seen by investigators and added to an extensive NIH and COGS database.

"COGS' collected data is a unique and accessible national resource for current and future studies of the neurobehavioral and genetic architecture of schizophrenia. Its methods of genetic analysis can be applied to many other heritable disorders, such as hypertension and diabetes, which have similar genomic structures," Braff said.

SOURCE Consortium on the Genetics of Schizophrenia