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July 1978

Genetic Strategies in Biological Psychiatry

Author Affiliations

From the Laboratory of Psychology and Psychopathology (Dr Rieder) and the Unit on Psychogenetics (Dr Gershon), Biological Psychiatry Branch, Intramural Research Program, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1978;35(7):866-873. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1978.01770310072005

• Studies of the etiology of schizophrenia and other psychiatric illnesses may be executed by using a genetic framework in the experimental design. This article describes research strategies for identifying the genetic factors that produce a vulnerability to a psychiatric illness. The proposed strategies evaluate the role of a given genetic factor by comparing the transmission of this factor within pedigrees to the transmission of that illness. In a biologically heterogeneous disorder, these strategies can be used to identify homogeneous subgroups. This report also describes a strategy for identification of the environmental events that promote the development of a psychiatric illness, either independently or in conjunction with the genetic diathesis.

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