Genetic analysis of psychiatric disorders associated with human chromosome 18

Kamnasaran, Deepak
December 2003
Clinical & Investigative Medicine;Dec2003, Vol. 26 Issue 6, p285
Academic Journal
Current models on the etiology of psychiatric disorders support the idea of a biologic cause as well as interactions of biologic systems with the environment. The elucidation of the genetic etiology is of paramount importance to understand the cause of psychiatric disorders. Human chromosome 18 was identified as one of the first chromosomes to be aberrant in psychiatric patients and has subsequently served as a model to identify the molecular cause. In this article I review a multitude of methodologies that can be used in determining the genetic basis of schizophrenia, affective disorder and autism associated with human chromosome 18. These strategies include the use of chromosome aberrations, linkage and association studies, mouse-human comparative genomics, mutation analysis on candidate genes, trinucleotide repeat expansion studies, search for genes demonstrating parental effects and bioinformatics. Current data from the use of these methods are cited from the literature. Linkage and association studies have suggested at least 2 candidate loci on the short and long arms of chromosome 18 for each of these psychiatric disorders. Some loci are supported by the mapping of chromosome aberrations from psychiatric patients. Mutation analyses of psychiatric patients with 4 candidate genes (NEDD4L, IMPA2, PACAP and GNAL) mapping within these loci have been unsuccessful, although an association was found with the IMPA2 gene in patients with schizophrenia. With these methods and findings, our understanding of the cause of psychiatric disorders associated with human chromosome 18 has improved and will advance, especially with emerging data from the human and rodent genome projects.


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