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Am J Med Genet. 2000 Spring;97(1):98-106.

Pharmacogenetics of schizophrenia.


Patients display significant differences in response to therapeutic agents which may be caused by a variety of factors. Among them, genetic components presumably play a major role. Pharmacogenetics is the field of research that attempts to unravel the relationship between genetic variation affecting drug metabolism (pharmacokinetic level) or drug targets (pharmacodynamic level) and interindividual differences in pharmacoresponse. In schizophrenia, pharmacokinetic studies have shown the role of genetic variants of the cytochrome P450 enzymes CYP2D6, CYP2C19, and CYP2C9 in the metabolism of neuroleptic drugs. At the level of the drug target, variants of the dopamine D3 and D4, and 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C receptors have been examined. A general problem of pharmacogenetic studies in schizophrenia is the high number of controversial findings which may be related to the lack of standardized phenotype definition. Recently, guidelines for an exact and comparable phenotype characterization have been proposed and will aid in designing and evaluating pharmacogenetic studies in the future. The final goal of pharmacogenetic studies-making a prediction of drug response at the level of the individual patient-will require a simultaneous look at a large number of response-determining genetic variants by applying the tools of pharmacogenomics, e.g. large-scale Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) detection and genotyping.

Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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