SVIBOR - Project code: 3-01-123


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SVIBOR - Collecting Data on Projects in Croatia

Project code: 3-01-123

A Genetic and Epidemiological Study of DNA Markers Related to Schizophrenia in Croatia

Main researcher: HRABAK-ŽERJAVIĆ, VLASTA (16485)

Type of research: basic
Duration from: 01/01/91. to 12/31/95.

Papers on project (total): 12
Papers on project quoted in Current Contents: 3
Institution name: Zavod za zaštitu zdravlja Republike Hrvatske, Zagreb (5)
Department/Institute: Epidemiology Service Chronic Diseases Epidemiology Department Croatian Psychotic Case Register
Address: Rockefellerova 7
City: 10000 - Zagreb, Croatia
Phone: 385 (0)41 27 73 07
Fax: 385 (0)41 27 73 07

Summary: The findings in molecular genetics, particularly those of DNA markers for separate gene loci, encouraged the investigation of genetic aspects of schizophrenia, especially in families with more schizophrenic cases. Yet, the final interpretation of the laboratory results can not be expected unless based on the popu lation epidemiology approach.The data basis of the Register of Psychotics of the Republic of Craotia was therefore offered as the basis for further investigation of possible correlation of the identified DNA markers with the prevalence of schizophrenia. The clusters of patients with the same last name and the same place of residence or birth were selected from the Register as possible relatives, based on a computer program specially created for this purpose.The actual relationships were established and the family anamneses obtained on the field. The additional data for this investigation, concerning suicides commited in the families, were collected at the same time. There is a standard diagnostic procedure for each family member. Blood samples are taken and sent for further analyses to the Columbia University. Furthermore, the additonal part of the investigation anysing the Committed Suicides Register data showed the standardized mortality rates for suicide in Croatia beeing above European average, the distribution of suicides differing in various regions of Croatia and higher frequency of suicides commited among schizophrenics than in the rest of the population.

Keywords: Schizophrenia, Incidence, DNA Markers, Croatia's Psychiatric Case Register, Pedigree, Genetic linkage, Suicides

Research goals: The study is under the contract to the Research Foundation of Mental Hygiene, Inc. at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. It aims at exploring possible coincidences among the findings of pertinent DNA markers and the occurence of schizoprenia in the large families having several schizophrenia-affected members. This additional study aims at elaborating the study's epidemiological base. It will explore the occurrence of suicides in schizophrenics, and determine the epidemiological characteristics of the suicides committed by schizophrenic as a base for a proposal on feasible intervention measures. Because the war in Croatia has delayed the start of the field part of the study, blood sample collection is still in progress. Nevertheless, a final interpretation of the results may come on collecting enough patient and their family blood samples. Initial analyses of Suicides register data among schizophrenics have show different areas of Croatia to have different suicide distributions. The distributions differ more widely by commune of birth than by commune of residence. The first analyses show also the frequency of suicide committed by schizophrenics higher than in the rest of population.


  1. Name of project: >O1 MH46617-01 DNA Marker Study of Linkage to Schizophrenia in Croatia
    Name of institution: Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc. at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, Grant number 1 RO1 MH46617-01
    City: 212 - New York, SAD


  1. Name: REGPSIH. (kompj. program). Depo ustanova: Hrvatski zavod za javno zdravstvo, Zagreb, HW platforma: PC, OS:Ms DOS. Programski jezik: Clipper
    Type of achievement: Technical specifications
    Authors: Plasaj Tomislav

  2. Name: PROBAND. (kompj. program). Depo ustanova: Hrvatski zavod za javno zdravstvo, Zagreb. Naručitelj: Hrvatski zavod za javno zdravstvo, Zagreb. HW platforma: PC, OS: Ms DOS, Programski jezik: Clipper.
    Type of achievement: Technical specifications
    Authors: Plasaj Tomislav

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Last update: 10/23/95