Evidence for substantial genetic contribution to bipolar and related affective disorders is provided by family, twin, and adoption studies. However, uncertainties concerning the mode of genetic transmission, etiologic heterogeneity, and phenotypic boundaries compromise the prospects of unraveling the underlying genetic defect. Molecular genetic techniques, including recombinant DNA technology, will likely have a key role in resolving some of these issues. The implications of these advances for affective disorder research are discussed here in the light of recent genetic findings linking bipolar affective illness to gene markers on chromosome 11 and the X chromosome. The topics covered include the principles and promise of the recombinant DNA approach and other molecular biology techniques; the limitations in studying disorders typified by nosological uncertainties, unknown mode of inheritance, and etiologic heterogeneity; and the potential contribution of molecular genetic strategies to the elucidation of genotypic variation.
Affective Disorder Molecular Genetic Study Bipolar Affective Disorder Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism Marker Affective Illness
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