DNA Analysis

Human DNA is organized in pieces called genes that provide the instructions needed to make our bodies work. There are over 10 million known ways that human DNA can vary from one person to another. Through this study, we hope to learn about the genetic causes of common disorders and how people vary in terms of their genes.

The main purpose of this study is to understand the effects of genes on brain development and behavior. The data will help establish the risk of developing brain disorders in the general population.

Blood contains cells and all cells contain genes. Genes are made up of a substance called DNA. Each individual has a unique set of genes that we get from our parents. In this way family members share genes that may make them look alike or have similar traits. Genes may also cause illness. They may make it more likely that one person will get sick while another person does not and so they may influence the risk of getting sick. How this happens is not well understood. Despite growing knowledge, there is much we do not know. We and others are doing research to study genes from many individuals in order to continue learning and hopefully someday help develop better treatments, cure or prevent complex brain disorders. The blood sample you/your child gave will be used to create a cell line, which is living tissue. Transformation allows many genetic measures to be made on a very small sample of blood. The genetic studies will be performed at a US Government funded central laboratory and in a genetic laboratory at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

DNA and mental health information will be stored at the repository. This will include information about your family structure, age, sex and psychological measures. DNA and mental health information will be stored there in a coded way to keep your identity a secret. DNA and mental health information will be stored as a national resource. The National Institute of Mental Health may provide them to qualified scientists around the world to study how genes effect mental functioning and mental disorders. These scientists may not be working on this research right now. Personal information that could be used to identify participants will not be given out. All personal information (name, social security number, address etc.) that could be used to identify you/your child will be deleted from that record. This information will not be given out to the repository or to anyone else. The data collected from the clinical evaluation will also be maintained in the Brain Behavior Laboratory at Penn and Center for Applied Genomics at CHOP and a blood sample for more specific genetic analysis will be stored in a DNA and cell culture bank at the CHOP.

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