Molecular genetic and family studies in affective disorders: state of the art.
The identification of genes responsible for mood disorders will contribute to significant advances in the awareness of diagnosis (diagnostic process and early recognition), pathophysiology, epidemiology and treatment issues. During the past two decades, the search for genes for mood disorders has mainly contributed to better understand and confirm the genetic complexities inherent to these disorders. The large amount of results available and the difficulty to digest them corroborate this observation. The major contribution of these findings should be integrated in the context of the world-wide efforts to identify the thousands of genes of the human genome. Some of these genes may be identified within the next decade. Several consistent hypotheses are currently being tested and will, hopefully, speed up the process of narrowing the important regions when the complete genome map will be available. The most promising chromosomal regions have been localized on chromosomes 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 21 and X. A number of candidate genes have also been investigated, some of these are directly linked to neurobiological hypotheses of the aetiology of affective disorders. In parallel, specific hypotheses have been implicated, such as anticipation and dynamic mutations. Further research should concentrate on these hypotheses and confirm positive findings through interdisciplinary and multicenter projects.
Souery, D; Rivelli, SK; Mendlewicz, J
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