Genetic epidemiology of mood disorders

The various strategies available to investigate genetic risk factors in psychiatric disorders belong to the wider discipline of genetic epidemiology. This combines both epidemiological and genetic investigations and has the primary objective of identifying the genetic and non-genetic (environmental) causes of a disease. Genetic epidemiological data in affective disorders has come mostly from family, twin, adoption, and segregation (within families) studies. These classic methods are described in Ch.a.2t.e.L,2ā€ž.ā€ž4Jā€ž,. Family, twin, and adoption studies are the mainstay in establishing the genetic basis of affective disorders. These methods firstly demonstrated that genetic factors are involved in the aetiology of these disorders. (,!9 Twin and adoption data may also be used to investigate the relative contributions of genetic and environmental factors to the aetiology of a disease.(11) The exact contribution of these factors is not yet firmly understood for affective disorders but there have been some recent findings.

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