Depression pp 107-121 | Cite as

Why We Do Not Yet Understand the Genetics of Affective Disorders

  • Kenneth K. Kidd
  • Myrna M. Weissman


Reasonably good evidence exists for at least some types of affective disorders having a genetic component. Consequently, there are many recent reviews of the data supporting genetic hypotheses for the affective disorders.1–4 Since no remarkable new evidence has appeared in the last couple of years, those reviews still provide good summaries of the data. However, considerable debate occurs over the interpretation of these data, and new thoughts are developing in this area. In this chapter we shall briefly review the evidence needed for determining whether a genetic component exists, discuss the current data and analyses relative to mode(s) of inheritance for affective disorders, and finally discuss the types of data that are still required in order to resolve the uncertainties. The absence of these types of data and the difficulty in obtaining them explain, as we shall show, why we do not yet understand the genetics of affective disorders.


Affective Disorder Color Blindness Bipolar Illness Affective Illness Population Incidence 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth K. Kidd
    • 1
    • 2
  • Myrna M. Weissman
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Human GeneticsYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Depression Research Unit, Connecticut Mental Health Center, Department of PsychiatryYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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