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Contempo Updates
June 13, 2001

Influential Ideas and Experimental Progress in Schizophrenia Genetics Research

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Schizophrenia Genetics Research Program, Department of Psychiatry, University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill.


Contempo Updates Section Editor: Alice T. D. Hughes, MD, Fishbein Fellow.

JAMA. 2001;285(22):2831-2833. doi:10.1001/jama.285.22.2831

Schizophrenia is a devastating disorder affecting 1% of the population worldwide.1 Typically presenting in adolescence or young adulthood, schizophrenia is characterized by major disruptions of thinking (delusions, disorganization), perception (hallucinations), mood, and behavior.2 Symptoms tend to persist without treatment. The elucidation of the biology of schizophrenia will constitute a development of great medical and historic importance. The study of familial schizophrenia was instrumental in opening the field of psychiatry to genetic inquiry, and together with twin and adoption studies helped forge the field of psychiatric genetics. Over the past century, studies have consistently shown that both genetic and nongenetic factors play a significant role in the etiology of schizophrenia.

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