Nature and nurture in neuropsychiatric genetics: where do we stand?

Department of Psychiatry, Virginia Institute of Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Richmond 23298, USA.
Dialogues in clinical neuroscience 03/2010; 12(1):7-23.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Both genetic and nongenetic risk factors, as well as interactions and correlations between them, are thought to contribute to the etiology of psychiatric and behavioral phenotypes. Genetic epidemiology consistently supports the involvement of genes in liability. Molecular genetic studies have been less successful in identifying liability genes, but recent progress suggests that a number of specific genes contributing to risk have been identified. Collectively, the results are complex and inconsistent, with a single common DNA variant in any gene influencing risk across human populations. Few specific genetic variants influencing risk have been unambiguously identified, Contemporary approaches, however hold great promise to further elucidate liability genes and variants, as well as their potential inter-relationships with each other and with the environment. We will review the fields of genetic epidemiology and molecular genetics, providing examples from the literature to illustrate the key concepts emerging from this work.

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