Linkage Analysis

Emotional stress (e.g., psychological, physical, and sexual abuse) plays a key role in the development of major mental health problems such as major depression, anxiety disorders, and addiction. However, twin, family, and adoption studies show that these conditions, and essentially every other mental health disorder, as well as subclinical behavioral traits, have a genetic component. The goal of psychiatric genetics researchers is to identify the underlying genetic risk factors for the purpose of understanding how the neuronal pathways and neurotransmitter system affecting brain function are disrupted by genetic variants (mutations) and how environmental factors integrate into these processes. The expectation is that new therapies will emerge from such discoveries.

The classic approach to gene discovery prior to 2006 was linkage analysis, in which geneticists are able ...

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