Accelerating discovery for complex neurological and behavioral disorders through systems genetics and integrative genomics in the laboratory mouse

Neurotherapeutics. 2012 Apr;9(2):338-48. doi: 10.1007/s13311-012-0111-3.


Recent advances in systems genetics and integrative functional genomics have greatly improved the study of complex neurological and behavioral traits. The methods developed for the integrated characterization of new, high-resolution mouse genetic reference populations and systems genetics enable behavioral geneticists an unprecedented opportunity to address questions of the molecular basis of neurological and psychiatric disorders and their comorbidities. Integrative genomics augment these strategies by enabling rapid informatics-assisted candidate gene prioritization, cross-species translation, and mechanistic comparison across related disorders from a wealth of existing data in mouse and other model organisms. Ultimately, through these complementary approaches, finding the mechanisms and sources of genetic variation underlying complex neurobehavioral disease related traits is becoming tractable. Furthermore, these methods enable categorization of neurobehavioral disorders through their underlying biological basis. Together, these model organism-based approaches can lead to a refinement of diagnostic categories and targeted treatment of neurological and psychiatric disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Databases, Genetic / trends
  • Genomics / methods*
  • Genomics / trends
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / genetics*
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Mice
  • Models, Animal*
  • Models, Genetic*
  • Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis
  • Nervous System Diseases / genetics*
  • Nervous System Diseases / therapy
  • Systems Integration*