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Research Advances in Genetics and Genomics

Implications for Psychiatry

Edited by Nancy C. Andreasen, M.D., Ph.D.

  • ISBN 978-1-58562-200-9
  • Item #62200

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Research Advances in Genetics and Genomics: Implications for Psychiatry introduces mental health professionals to exciting breakthroughs in endophenotypes, animal models, microarrays, and genetic mapping, as well as general strategies for identifying the genetic mechanisms of mental illnesses.

Uniquely valuable both as summary and signpost, this concise volume provides a fascinating overview of recent cutting-edge developments in the application of molecular genetics, genomics, and proteomics to the study of psychiatric populations.

By reading Research Advances in Genetics and Genomics, you will gain a better understanding of

  • Psychiatric Genetics—Reviews and assesses the major research paradigms that have emerged in the field of psychiatric genetics over the several past decades, exploring the major conceptual and philosophical issues they pose and the value of their integration.
  • Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids—An overview of the double-helix discovery and provides a context for current endeavors, the original one-page April 1953 Nature paper by Watson and Crick, which sparked a revolution in the life sciences.
  • Psychiatry in the Genomics Era—Posits that one of the most important consequences of genomics will be the development of individualized treatments that allow a clinician to tailor therapy on the basis of the unique genotype of each patient rather than on the mean responses of groups of unrelated patients.
  • The Genomics Revolution—Details the implications of the genome for future medical practice, including the potential for developing methods and tools to better understand, treat, and prevent major mental disorders.
  • The Endophenotype Concept in Psychiatry—Explains the etymology and strategy behind the use of endophenotypes in neuropsychiatric research and, more generally, in research on other diseases with complex genetics, such as schizophrenia.
  • The Genes and Brains of Mice and Men—Shows why a detailed assessment of brain function in mice is so important for advancing psychiatric research in humans. Humans and mice share numerous features-in fact, for an estimated 99% of human genes a mouse version may be identified-of brain organization and behavioral responses to many pharmacological agents.
  • Microarray Technology—Asserts that microarrays present a methodology for identifying genes or pathways for new and unique potential drug targets, determining premorbid diagnosis, predicting drug responsiveness for individual patients, and, eventually, initiating gene therapy and prevention strategies.

Meticulously referenced, this volume is exceptionally useful as a starting point for understanding the impact of genetics and genomics on psychiatry, serving to introduce psychiatrists, psychologists, neurologists, and geneticists to this exciting field.


  • Contributors
  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1. Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid
  • Chapter 2. Psychiatric Genetics: A Methodologic Critique
  • Chapter 3. Psychiatry in the Genomics Era
  • Chapter 4. Will the Genomics Revolution Revolutionize Psychiatry?
  • Chapter 5. The Endophenotype Concept in Psychiatry: Etymology and Strategic Intentions
  • Chapter 6. The Genes and Brains of Mice and Men
  • Chapter 7. Microarray Technology: A Review of New Strategies to Discover Candidate Vulnerability Genes in Psychiatric Disorders
  • Afterword
  • Index

About the Authors

Nancy C. Andreasen, M.D., Ph.D., is Andrew H. Woods Chair of Psychiatry at The University of Iowa College of Medicine in Iowa City, Iowa; Director of The MIND Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Editor-in-Chief of The American Journal of Psychiatry.

On what do almost all psychiatrists agree? First, that people are born with different personalities and temperaments and that these predispositions have important effects on our ultimate emotional and behavioral repertoires. Second, that the experiences we have from birth have tremendous influence on the ways in which our predetermined personalities and temperaments shape our ultimate mental lives. Psychopharmacologists, cognitive psychologists, and psychoanalysts, I believe, would find nothing especially controversial, provocative, or heretical about these statements. What is missing from the statements, however, is a fundamental understanding of why these facts are so. Read, however, Research Advances in Genetics and Genomics: Implications for Psychiatry, a wonderful book edited by a sage in our field, Nancy C. Andreasen M.D. Ph.D., and come away feeling that one is as close as one can be to understanding why we are the way we are. The approach to genomics in this important volume is entirely free of cant, divisive rhetoric, or partisanship. Rather, it lays out for us the ways in which genes and the environment are likely to play out their exquisite relationship to determine who will be obsessive, who will hallucinate, and who will survive enormous stress with consistent equanimity. This book gives the reader the technical basis for understanding some of the most fundamental aspects of human behavior and emotion, the very things that psychiatrists deal with on a daily basis. As such, it is must reading.—Jack M. Gorman, M.D., Esther and Joseph Klingenstein Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Professor of Neuroscience, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York

This is a rare book in which all the chapters are informative, succinct, and written for the enjoyment of both novices to the field (with appropriate recapitulations of basic concepts peppered throughout) and more knowledgeable readers (who will appreciate this volume in effect synthesizes the state of the field).—Anne L. Glowinski, PsychCritiques, 4/1/2005

This short volume, edited by the Editor-in-Chief of the renown American Journal of Psychiatry, brings together for the first time in book form to my knowledge current strides in the research towards the Holy Grail of human genetics; finding the genetic markers of mental illness.Ruth E. Nieuwenhuis-Mark Ph.D., Metapsychology Online Book Reviews, December 2005—Ruth E. Nieuwenhuis-Mark, Ph.D., Metapsychology Online Book Reviews, 4/1/2005

This book, edited and written by pioneers in the field, attempts to 'translate' this burgeoning science for practicing psychiatrists. . . This is an excellent introduction to the exploding knowledge in molecular genetics and its implications for the practice of psychiatry. .—Michael J. Schrift, Doody's Health Sciences Book Review Journal, 4/1/2005

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