Although it has long been known that people inherit vulnerabilities to particular forms of mental illness, ongoing advances in psychiatric genetics and DNA technology are only now making it possible to actually find the specific genes and gene variants that play critical roles in complex disorders, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. For this reason, the National Institute of Mental Health convened a work group "to facilitate the search for the genes that influence mental disorders"—genes whose identification will affect diagnosis, prevention, and treatment. This article briefly summarizes the problems addressed by the work group and its main recommendations.
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