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More MS news articles for July 2003

DNA microarrays: translation of the genome from laboratory to clinic

Lancet Neurol. 2003 May;2(5):275-82
Geschwind DH.
DHG is at the Program in Neurogenetics, Department of Neurology, and the Center for Neurobehavioral Genetics, Neuropsychiatric Institute, the David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA

As the complete sequences of human and other mammalian genomes become available we are faced with the challenge of understanding how variation in sequence and gene expression contributes to neurological and psychiatric disorders.

DNA microarrays, or DNA chips, provide the means to measure simultaneously where and when thousands of genes are expressed.

Microarrays are changing the way that researchers approach work at the bench and have already yielded new insights into brain tumours, multiple sclerosis, acute neurological insults such as stroke and seizures, and schizophrenia.

The study of disease-related changes in gene expression is the first step in the long process in translation of genome research to the clinic.

Eventually, the changes observed in microarray studies will need to be independently confirmed and we wil need to understand how gene expression changes translate into functional effects at the cellular level in the nervous system.

Progress in these studies will translate into array-based disease classification schemes and help optimise therapy for individual patients based on gene expression patterns or their genetic background.