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Advancing psychiatric genetics through dissecting heterogeneity

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R160-R165
JournalHuman Molecular Genetics
Issue numberR2
Published1 Oct 2017

King's Authors


There has been substantial progress in psychiatric genetics in recent years, through collaborative efforts to build large samples sizes for case/control analyses for a number of psychiatric disorders. The identification of replicated trait-associated genomic loci represents a large stride forward in a field where little is known about the biological processes involved in disorder. As researchers build on this early foundation, they are beginning to advance the field towards more fine-grained approaches that interrogate the many sources of heterogeneity within psychiatric genetics that can obscure the identification of genotypic influences on disorder. In this review, we provide a brief overview, across a range of psychiatric diagnoses, of recent approaches that have been employed to dissect heterogeneity to give a flavour of the current direction of the field. We group these into three main categories; tackling the heterogeneity in phenotype that is found within the diagnostic categories used within psychiatry, the many different forms of genetic variation that might influence psychiatric traits and then finally, the heterogeneity that is seen across individuals of different ancestries.

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