Recent advances in the genetics of schizophrenia
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- Waterworth, D., Bassett, A. & Brzustowicz, L. CMLS, Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2002) 59: 331. doi:10.1007/s00018-002-8426-6
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The genetic etiology of schizophrenia, a common and debilitating psychiatric disorder, is supported by a wealth of data. Review of the current findings suggests that considerable progress has been made in recent years, with a number of chromosomal regions consistently implicated by linkage analysis. Three groups have shown linkage to 1q21-22 using similar models, with HLOD scores of 6.5, 3.2, and 2.4. Other replicated loci include 13q32 that has been implicated by two independent groups with significant HLOD scores (4.42) or NPL values (4.18), and 5p14.1-13.1, 5q21-33, 8p21-22, and 10p11-15, each of which have been reported as suggestive by at least three separate groups. Different studies have also replicated evidence for a modest number of candidate genes that were not ascertained through linkage. Of these, the greatest support exists for the DRD3 (3q13.3), HTR2A (13q14.2), and CHRNA7 (15q13-q14) genes. The refinement of phenotypes, the use of endophenotypes, reduction of heterogeneity, and extensive genetic mapping have all contributed to this progress. The rapid expansion of information from the human genome project will likely further accelerate this progress and assist in the discovery of susceptibility genes for schizophrenia. A greater understanding of disease mechanisms and the application of pharmacogenetics should also lead to improvements in therapeutic interventions.