Notwithstanding the difficulties accompanying the genetic dissection of complex disorders, novel methods of genetic analysis will eventually identify genomic regions and loci predisposing to schizophrenia. The majority are likely to be of small effect, although one cannot exclude the possibility that genes of moderate or even major effects will also be found, especially in relation to the neurophysiological abnormalities associated with schizophrenia. Clarifying the function of such genes will be a complex task. Part of the solution is likely to be found in the domain of epidemiology, since establishing their population frequency and associations with a variety of phenotypic expressions, including personality traits and environmental risk factors, is a prerequisite for understanding their causal role. Thus a molecular epidemiology of schizophrenia is likely to be the next major chapter in the search for causes and cures.
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