Genetics of common psychiatric disorders: A Mendelian perspective based on genetic analyses of large pedigrees

Genetics of common psychiatric disorders: A Mendelian perspective based on genetic analyses of large pedigrees

  • Psychiatric/Behavioral disorders/traits are usually polygenic in nature, where a particular phenotype is the manifestation of multiple genes. However, the existence of large families with numerous members who are affected by these disorders/traits steers us towards a Mendelian (or monogenic) possibility, where the phenotype is caused by a single gene. In order to better understand the genetic architecture of general psychiatric/behavioral disorders/traits, this thesis investigates large pedigrees that display a Mendelian pattern for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Numerous challenges in the field of psychiatric and behavioral sciences have impeded the genetic investigation of such disorders/traits. Examples include frequent cross-disorders, genetic heterogeneity across subjects as well as the use of diagnostic tools that can be subjective at times. To overcome these challenges, this thesis investigates large multi-generational pedigrees, which comprise a significant number of members who exhibit specific psychiatric/behavioral phenotypes. These pedigrees provide high-resolution experimental setups that can dissect the genetic complexities of psychiatric/behavioral disorders/traits. This thesis adopts a classical two-stage genetic approach to investigate the various psychiatric/behavioral disorders/traits in large pedigrees. The classical two-stage genetic approach is commonly used by many human geneticists to study a wide spectrum of human physiological disorders but is only being applied to the field of psychiatric and behavioral genetics recently. Through the study of large pedigrees, this thesis discovers the genomic regions that may play a causative role in the expression of certain psychiatric/behavioral disorders/traits within the vast genome.

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Author:Michelle Lin
Advisor:Jobst Meyer
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of completion:2012/03/07
Publishing institution:Universit├Ąt Trier
Granting institution:Universit├Ąt Trier, Fachbereich 1
Date of final exam:2011/12/19
Release Date:2012/03/07
Tag:Psychiatric genetics; behavioral genetics
Institutes:Fachbereich 1 / Psychologie
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie

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