Genes and neuroimaging: advances in psychiatric research
Gallinat J, Bauer M, Heinz A.
Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie,
Charité Universitatsmedizin Berlin,
Campus Mitte, Berlin, Germany. firstname.lastname@example.org
Neurodegener Dis. 2008;5(5):277-85.
ABSTRACTMajor psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and substance addiction, are partly heritable and show a multifactorial pattern of heredity. Although the introduction of explicit diagnostic criteria has improved clinical research on psychiatric disorders, the concept is only of limited use for exploring their genetic underpinnings. On the behavioral level, psychopathological symptoms can hardly separate the many pathophysiological subgroups. Contrary to nosological categories, biologically based phenotypes - referred to as intermediate phenotypes - consisting of neuropsychological, electrophysiological, functional and structural brain imaging parameters, could represent the genetic basis more directly. Thus intermediate phenotypes are being targeted in current molecular genetic investigations. In this article, we review existing data on the effects of genetic variation in the dopamine and serotonin systems (catechol-O-methyltransferase, the serotonin-transporter-linked polymorphic region) on the morphometric, metabolic and functional characteristics of the cerebral cortex and limbic structures. The gene-driven modulation of these brain circuits is discussed with regard to their behavioral correlates and their role for psychiatric diseases. Furthermore, recently identified putative susceptibility genes for schizophrenia (neuregulin 1, dysbindin, G72) are briefly discussed.Biohappiness
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