Gene × Environment Interaction Models in Psychiatric Genetics

  • Katja Karg
  • Srijan SenEmail author
Part of the Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences book series (CTBN, volume 12)


Gene–environment (G × E) interaction research is an emerging area in psychiatry, with the number of G × E studies growing rapidly in the past two decades. This article aims to give a comprehensive introduction to the field, with an emphasis on central theoretical and practical problems that are worth considering before conducting a G × E interaction study. On the theoretical side, we discuss two fundamental, but controversial questions about (1) the validity of statistical models for biological interaction and (2) the utility of G × E research for psychiatric genetics. On the practical side, we focus on study characteristics that potentially influence the outcome of G × E interaction studies and discuss strengths and pitfalls of different study designs, including recent approaches like Genome–Environment Wide Interaction Studies (GEWIS). Finally, we discuss recent developments in G × E interaction research on the most heavily investigated example in psychiatric genetics, the interaction between a serotonin transporter gene promoter variant (5-HTTLPR) and stress on depression.


Genomic Stress Behavior Serotonin 


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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