Genetics meets environment: evaluating gene-environment interactions in neurologic diseases

Semin Neurol. 2011 Nov;31(5):553-61. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1299793. Epub 2012 Jan 21.


The vast majority of disease is due to complex relationships between genetic and environmental factors. Single genetic or environmental causes are rare. Unfortunately, this presents major challenges for assessing disease risk in individuals. Further complicating the situation is the fact that there are many ways in which genetic and environmental determinants can combine to cause disease. This review explores the concepts of gene-environment interaction to provide a basic understanding of the principles of interactions and approaches to studying them. Collaborations between genetics and environmental experts will be crucial to understand the complex relationships.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Environment*
  • Gene-Environment Interaction*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Multiple Sclerosis / etiology
  • Multiple Sclerosis / genetics
  • Nervous System Diseases / etiology*
  • Nervous System Diseases / genetics*
  • Parkinson Disease / etiology
  • Parkinson Disease / genetics