Genes and Mental Illness
The concept of mental illness evolved from possession by gods and an imbalance of body fluids (including the modern version of neurotransmitter imbalance) to a model that posits an interaction between genes and the environment. Environmental stress is known to play an important role – both by altering the genes early in development and as a precipitating factor for illness in later life. Recent evidence suggests that the interaction between the genes and the environment is mediated by memes – information encoded in neural connections which may be endogenous or exogenous.A gene × meme interaction model of mental illness is proposed.
KeywordsDepression Dopamine Schizophrenia Serotonin Norepinephrine
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