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- Muir, W.J., Pickard, B.S. & Blackwood, D.H. Curr Psychiatry Rep (2008) 10: 140. doi:10.1007/s11920-008-0025-2
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Chromosomal abnormalities can be powerful tools to identify genes that influence disease risk. The study of a chromosome translocation that segregated with severe psychiatric illness in a large family led directly to the discovery of a gene disrupted by a chromosomal breakpoint. Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia-1 (DISC1) is now an important candidate risk gene for schizophrenia and affective disorders. We review the work that led up to this discovery and the evidence that it is important in the wider population with schizophrenia and affective disorders. We also discuss the latest findings on the neuronal functions of the protein DISC1 encoded by the gene.