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Modern molecular genetic approaches to complex traits: implications for psychiatric disorders [review]

Owen, Michael John and Craddock, Nicholas John 1996. Modern molecular genetic approaches to complex traits: implications for psychiatric disorders [review]. Molecular Psychiatry 1 (1) , pp. 21-26.

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The majority of common psychiatric disorders pose problems for geneticists because of their complex and non-Mendelian modes of inheritance. Early attempts to map genes for mental illness have so far largely overlooked this and sought genes of major effect in multiplex families using the lod score method of linkage analysis. However it seems that major genes are likely to be at best rare causes of common mental disorders, and the majority of cases probably reflect the interaction of several and perhaps many genes of comparatively small effect. There are two complementary sets of strategies that allow such genes to be identified. The first is to perform linkage analysis based on allele sharing in pairs of affected relatives. The second is to carry out association studies on samples of unrelated individuals. These methods and their applicability to psychiatric disorders are described. Psychiatric genetics has traditionally focussed on categorical phenotypes, but if valid continuous measures can be developed, powerful quantitative trait loci (QTL) approaches may also become feasible. Another important area is likely to be the study of relevant models in animals such as rodents in which genetic studies have many advantages. Finally we should not overlook the possibility that there are molecular explanations for irregular patterns of transmission such as mitochondrial inheritance, genomic imprinting and dynamic mutations.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 1359-4184
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2019 20:55

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