Update on psychiatric genetics.
Genetic factors play a fundamental role in the genesis of many mental disorders. The identification of the underlying genetic variation will therefore transform parts of psychiatry toward a neuroscience-based discipline. With the sequence of the human genome now available, the majority of common variations identified, and new high-throughput technologies arriving in academic research laboratories, the identification of genes is expected to explain a large proportion of the risk of developing mental disorders. So far, a number of risk genes have been identified, but no major gene has emerged. The majority of these genes participate in the regulation of biogenic amines that play critical roles in affect modulation and reward systems. The identification of genetic variations associated with mental disorders should provide an approach to evaluate risk for mental disorders, adjust pharmacotherapy on the individual level, and even allow for preventive interactions. New targets for the development of treatment are anticipated to derive from results of genetic studies. In this review, we summarize the current state of psychiatric genetics, underscore current discussions, and predict where the field is expected to move in the near future.
Züchner, S; Roberts, ST; Speer, MC; Beckham, JC
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