Substantial overlap of genetic risk factors shared between mental disorders.
Scientists at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine have identified the five psychiatric disorders, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, autism and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), share a common genetic link.
Their finding show substantial overlap of genetic risk factors shared between bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and schizophrenia and less overlap between those conditions and autism and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The findings provide insight into the biological pathways that may predispose an individual to disease and could ultimately lead to the development of new therapeutic avenues to treat the five major psychiatric illnesses. They are now moving toward understanding the molecular underpinnings of psychiatric illness.
According to study’s co-senior author Kenneth S. Kendler, this is a very large scale study using a new, innovative statistical method. They are hoping that this will help them both in developing a more scientifically based diagnostic system and understanding the degree of sharing of the biological foundation these illnesses.
The study appeared in the Nature Genetics' Advance Online publication.
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