Imaging Genetics

Andrew J. Gerber, Bradley S. Peterson, Karen E. Muñoz, Luke W. Hyde, Ahmad R. Hariri
<span title="">2009</span> <i title="Elsevier BV"> <a target="_blank" rel="noopener" href="" style="color: black;">Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry</a> </i> &nbsp;
As research in developmental and clinical sciences has progressed in the last decades, there have been many important technological and methodological advances in the increasingly complimentary fields of molecular genetics and neuroimaging. These advances have facilitated fruitful collaboration across once disparate disciplines, with early results shedding new light on the mechanisms giving rise to individual differences in complex behaviors and related psychiatric disorders. At the leading
more &raquo; ... of such efforts is imaging genetics, an experimental strategy for the effective integration of molecular genetics and neuroimaging technologies for the study of biological mechanisms mediating individual differences in behavior and related risk for psychiatric disorders. Imaging genetic studies have the potential to provide a more complex and nuanced understanding of the pathways and mechanisms through which the dynamic interplay of genes, brain, and environment shapes variability in behavior. The broader potential of imaging genetics is to inform risk and resiliency; however, it is likely to be realized only through its orchestrated application within longitudinal developmental studies. To date, no imaging genetic studies of development or of childhood psychiatric disorders have yielded published results, although such studies are underway. The results of these studies may have important implications for the diagnosis and treatment of such psychiatric disorders. WHY STUDY GENES? Genes have an unparalleled potential impact on all levels of biology. In the context of disease states, particularly behavioral disorders, genes are fundamental to our understanding of the mechanisms involved in the development of disease. Whereas most human behaviors cannot be explained by genes alone, and certainly much of the variance in aspects of brain information processing will not be genetically determined directly, variations in a genetic sequence that have an impact on gene function will contribute a substantial amount of variance to these more complex phenomena. This conclusion is implicit in results garnered from twin studies that have demonstrated heritabilities of 40% to 70% for various aspects of cognition, temperament, and personality. 5 Psychiatric illnesses cluster within families, suggesting a highly heritable component to disease susceptibility. 6-8 Genes, therefore, have the potential to identify underlying mechanisms of variability in behavior and disease risk, particularly in cases of child and adolescent psychiatric disorders, which have been shown to be at least similar to, and in some cases, more heritable than adult disorders. 9-12 Within this context, imaging genetics is a promising technique representing the specific ability to understand the neurobiological
<span class="external-identifiers"> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer" href="">doi:10.1097/chi.0b013e31819aad07</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="">pmid:19318879</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="">pmcid:PMC2891750</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="">fatcat:74melzxyrnaxnjckaehgihyoju</a> </span>
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