Genetic Aspects in the Course and Outcome of Affective Disorders

Conference paper


Consistently, familial, twin, and adoption studies all suggest that genetic and environmental factors and their specific interactions are involved in the etiology of affective disorders. That genetic factors are involved has been demonstrated, but neither their nature nor their mode of action, nor their pattern of transmission have been defined. To do this, the specific biochemical pathogenetic mechanism must be identified, but since we do not yet have this particular piece of information, we must first identify genetic markers for affective disorders. Then the susceptible phenotype can be identified through some biological system that can supply information even when there are no behavioral manifestations, which indeed may require interaction of nongenetic, environmental, and social factors before they appear. For this reason, many subjects may be classified falsely as negative for the disease susceptibility. On the other hand, to study genetic linkage for complex non-Mendelian traits requires at least some information about the formal genetics of the hypothetical systems (the main locus) of disease susceptibility in the given population.


Affective Disorder Lithium Treatment Secondary Case Major Affective Disorder Netic Mechanism 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Biomedical SciencesSt. Paul Clinical PsychiatryMilanoItaly

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