Genetics: DAO and Schizophrenia

DAO stands for D-amino-acid-oxidase and it is the gene/enzyme that helps break down d-amino acids such as D-serine, D-proline, D-tyrosine, D-Dopa, D-alanine, and D-phenylalanine. This enzyme depends on vitamin B2 to run properly. Mutations (polymorphisms such as heterozygous or homozygous) in this gene have been associated with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, and Social Anxiety Disorder.  One speculation is because a disruption in D-serine activity has been associated with these two conditions. There is also a correlation between dopamine synthesis and this enzyme. Mainstream medical has been looking at using D-cycloserine to help stabilize D-serine. There is also the possibility that micronutrients such as GABA and Glycine are helping to balance the response in the brain along with a protocol for improving dopamine synthesis. Here is an interesting article talking more about the N-methyl D-aspartate receptor (NMDA) receptor and the correlation between schizophrenia and using glycine to help balance the brain