Mental illnesses typically emerge during childhood or adolescence and often persist into adulthood. To characterize the mechanisms responsible for debilitating psychiatric diseases, we must elucidate genetic, biologic, and environmental risk factors that underlie these complex disorders. Large-scale population-based studies that use quantitative measures of brain and behavior are crucial for bridging the divide between molecular biology and disease phenomenology. Linking disease phenotypes with intermediate variables that span several levels of biological analysis will help clarify how these variables contribute to the development of brain systems that underlie complex behavior and mental illness.
Roalf DR. Progress Toward Elucidating Commonalities in Mental Disorders Using Brain Imaging and Publicly Available Data. JAMA Psychiatry. 2018;75(3):295–296. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2017.4245
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