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Avera Scientist is Co-author in World’s Leading Science Journal

Mar 01, 2015 06:39PM ● By MED Magazine

Gareth Davies, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer and Scientific Director at the Avera Institute for Human Genetics was among of group of scientists who contributed to the article titled “Common Genetic Variants Influence Human Subcortical Brain Structures” in the January 21 edition of Nature.

This study focuses on the ways in which genetic variations influence the structure and 

 development of the brain, and also possible dysfunction of the brain seen in the form of behavioral health conditions, such as schizophrenia.

“Genetics, and its interplay with the development of disease, is a rapidly growing field of research, and one we’re involved with locally at the Avera Institute for Human Genetics,” said Dr. Davies. “The results of this study were only possible through extensive collaboration.”

Researchers focused on seven sub-cortical regions of the brain, which are associated with memory, movement, learning and motivation.  Alterations in these regions can lead to abnormal behavior and disease, so identifying these genetic variants may help to determine why such dysfunction occurs.