Twin studies have been vital for establishing an important genetic contribution to the etiology of schizophrenia. The five newest studies since 1995 from Europe and Japan have confirmed earlier findings. They yielded probandwise concordance rates of 41-65% in monozygotic (MZ) pairs and 0-28% in dizygotic (DZ) pairs, and heritability estimates of approximately 80-85%. Twin studies are also valuable for investigating the etiological relationships between schizophrenia and other disorders, and the genetic basis of clinical heterogeneity within schizophrenia. Studies of discordant MZ pairs provide further insights into non-inherited factors that contribute to the multifactorial etiology of this disorder. More recently, twin studies have begun to be used to directly investigate molecular genetic and epigenetic processes underlying schizophrenia.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.