A recent summary statement from the Cross-Disorder Phenotype Group of the Psychiatric GWAS Consortium [doi 10.1192/bjp.bp.108.063156] highlights the recent convergence of GWAS findings in bipolar disorder (ANK3 & CACNA1C) and schizophrenia (ZNF804A). They also suggest that, “the most useful biological categories and/or dimensional definitions and measures are still unknown” and that “there may be overlap in the genetic susceptibility across disorders” and furthermore, “The notion that there is a gene for one of more psychiatric disorders is inappropriate and unhelpful“.
As someone whose been covering the more granular details of genes and brain function, it is reassuring to hear that the genome experts at 10,000 feet find that the evidence suggests that DSM-based diagnostics do not always jibe with basic brain biology.
How to interpret past psychiatric genetic data and how to move forward to make sense of the waves of new data (the PGC will have more than 80,000 participants each with more than 500,000 genotypes on record by end of 2009)? Jeebus help us!