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      Molecular Cytogenetics and Cytogenomics of Brain Diseases

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          Molecular cytogenetics is a promising field of biomedical research that has recently revolutionized our thinking on genome structure and behavior. This is in part due to discoveries of human genomic variations and their contribution to biodiversity and disease. Since these studies were primarily targeted at variation of the genome structure, it appears apposite to cover them by molecular cytogenomics. Human brain diseases, which encompass pathogenic conditions from severe neurodegenerative diseases and major psychiatric disorders to brain tumors, are a heavy burden for the patients and their relatives. It has been suggested that most of them, if not all, are of genetic nature and several recent studies have supported the hypothesis assuming them to be associated with genomic instabilities (i.e. single-gene mutations, gross and subtle chromosome imbalances, aneuploidy). The present review is focused on the intriguing relationship between genomic instability and human brain diseases. Looking through the data, we were able to conclude that both interindividual and intercellular genomic variations could be pathogenic representing, therefore, a possible mechanism for human brain malfunctioning. Nevertheless, there are still numerous gaps in our knowledge concerning the link between genomic variations and brain diseases, which, hopefully, will be filled by forthcoming studies. In this light, the present review considers perspectives of this dynamically developing field of neurogenetics and genomics.

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          Most cited references 155

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          Each year, the American Cancer Society estimates the number of new cancer cases and deaths expected in the United States in the current year and compiles the most recent data on cancer incidence, mortality, and survival based on incidence data from the National Cancer Institute, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries and mortality data from the National Center for Health Statistics. Incidence and death rates are age-standardized to the 2000 US standard million population. A total of 1,437,180 new cancer cases and 565,650 deaths from cancer are projected to occur in the United States in 2008. Notable trends in cancer incidence and mortality include stabilization of incidence rates for all cancer sites combined in men from 1995 through 2004 and in women from 1999 through 2004 and a continued decrease in the cancer death rate since 1990 in men and since 1991 in women. Overall cancer death rates in 2004 compared with 1990 in men and 1991 in women decreased by 18.4% and 10.5%, respectively, resulting in the avoidance of over a half million deaths from cancer during this time interval. This report also examines cancer incidence, mortality, and survival by site, sex, race/ethnicity, education, geographic area, and calendar year, as well as the proportionate contribution of selected sites to the overall trends. Although much progress has been made in reducing mortality rates, stabilizing incidence rates, and improving survival, cancer still accounts for more deaths than heart disease in persons under age 85 years. Further progress can be accelerated by supporting new discoveries and by applying existing cancer control knowledge across all segments of the population.
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            Inherited genetic variation has a critical but as yet largely uncharacterized role in human disease. Here we report a public database of common variation in the human genome: more than one million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for which accurate and complete genotypes have been obtained in 269 DNA samples from four populations, including ten 500-kilobase regions in which essentially all information about common DNA variation has been extracted. These data document the generality of recombination hotspots, a block-like structure of linkage disequilibrium and low haplotype diversity, leading to substantial correlations of SNPs with many of their neighbours. We show how the HapMap resource can guide the design and analysis of genetic association studies, shed light on structural variation and recombination, and identify loci that may have been subject to natural selection during human evolution.
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              Global variation in copy number in the human genome.

              Copy number variation (CNV) of DNA sequences is functionally significant but has yet to be fully ascertained. We have constructed a first-generation CNV map of the human genome through the study of 270 individuals from four populations with ancestry in Europe, Africa or Asia (the HapMap collection). DNA from these individuals was screened for CNV using two complementary technologies: single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping arrays, and clone-based comparative genomic hybridization. A total of 1,447 copy number variable regions (CNVRs), which can encompass overlapping or adjacent gains or losses, covering 360 megabases (12% of the genome) were identified in these populations. These CNVRs contained hundreds of genes, disease loci, functional elements and segmental duplications. Notably, the CNVRs encompassed more nucleotide content per genome than SNPs, underscoring the importance of CNV in genetic diversity and evolution. The data obtained delineate linkage disequilibrium patterns for many CNVs, and reveal marked variation in copy number among populations. We also demonstrate the utility of this resource for genetic disease studies.

                Author and article information

                [1 ]National Research Center of Mental Health, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences
                [2 ]Institute of Pediatrics and Children Surgery, Rosmedtechnologii, Moscow, Russia
                Author notes
                [* ]Address correspondence to these authors at the National Research Center of Mental Health, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Zagorodnoe sh. 2, Moscow 119152, Russia; Tel: 7 495 952 89 90; Fax: 7 495 952 89 40; E-mail: ivan_iourov@ and y_yurov@
                Curr Genomics
                Current Genomics
                Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.
                November 2008
                : 9
                : 7
                : 452-465
                ©2008 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



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