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Genome-wide association studies: what a psychiatrist needs to know

  • Nick Craddock
  • Please note an addendum has been issued for this article.
Summary

Recent advances in high-throughput genotyping have made possible genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in which hundreds of thousands of common DNA variants spread across all the chromosomes are examined in a large number of individuals rapidly and for a realistic cost. The GWAS approach has been successfully used to identify common susceptibility variants involved in many non-psychiatric diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, Crohn's disease, and in normal traits such as height. The typical finding is numerous susceptibility loci, each of which has a small effect size. Genome-wide association studies are similarly providing robust and replicable evidence for genes and, hence, proteins and biological systems/pathways that are involved in the aetiology and pathogenesis of major psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism and Alzheimer's disease. This article outlines for the busy psychiatrist some of the key messages emerging from this line of research.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Nick Craddock, National Centre for Mental Health, Institute of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences, Henry Wellcome Building, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XN, UK. Email: craddockn@cardiff.ac.uk
Footnotes
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Declaration of Interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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BJPsych Advances
  • ISSN: 1355-5146
  • EISSN: 1472-1481
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-advances
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Genome-wide association studies: what a psychiatrist needs to know

  • Nick Craddock
  • Please note an addendum has been issued for this article.
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