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June 2, 2008

Fostering Foster Care Outcomes: Quality of Intervention Matters in Overcoming Early Adversity

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2008;65(6):623-624. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.65.6.623

So long as little children are allowed to suffer, there is no true love in this world. —Isadora Duncan (1877-1927)

What's done to children, they will do to society. —Karl Menninger

It is now increasingly evident that the vast majority of major psychiatric disorders, including mood and anxiety disorders and schizophrenia, are similar to other complex medical disorders in having both genetic and environmental contributions to their pathogenesis. Indeed, similar to diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disorders, major depression, bipolar disorder, and most anxiety syndromes are now considered prototypical gene-environment interaction diseases. Indeed, these psychiatric disorders are among the most genetically laden of all the complex disorders in medicine. Thus, approximately one-third of the risk for the development of major depression and two-thirds of the risk for the development of bipolar disorder is genetic.1 Considerable progress has been made in identifying some of the genes that contribute to vulnerability for mood and anxiety disorders, especially in the face of certain environmental factors. These findings are described in more detail in the following paragraphs.

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