Closing in on genes for manic-depressive illness and schizophrenia

Neuropsychopharmacology. 1998 Apr;18(4):233-42. doi: 10.1016/S0893-133X(97)00145-0.


Advances in the human genetic map, and in genetic analysis of linkage and association in complex inheritance traits, have led to genetic progress in the major psychoses. For chromosome 6 in schizophrenia, and chromosomes 18 and 21 in manic-depressive illness, there are reports of linkage in several independent data sets. These are small effect genes, best detected with affected-relative-pair linkage methods. Association with candidate genes is an alternative strategy to uncovering susceptibility genes for these illnesses, but convincing associations remain to be demonstrated. New clinical and laboratory investigation methods are being developed. Testing every gene in the human genome for association with illness has recently been proposed (Risch and Merikangas 1996). This would require further progress in characterizing the genome and in automated large-scale genotyping. The best type of pedigree sampling for common disease studies, whether for linkage or association, is not yet established. An endophenotype hybrid strategy can combine genetic linkage, association, and pathophysiologic studies. As clinical molecular investigation methods advance, identification of disease susceptibility mutations and delineation of their pathophysiological roles may be expected.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bipolar Disorder / genetics*
  • Genes / genetics*
  • Genes / physiology
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Genetics, Behavioral*
  • Humans
  • Schizophrenia / genetics*