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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2006 Oct;7(10):818-27.

Intermediate phenotypes and genetic mechanisms of psychiatric disorders.

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Unit for Systems Neuroscience in Psychiatry, Clinical Brain Disorders Branch, National Institute for Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Genes are major contributors to many psychiatric diseases, but their mechanisms of action have long seemed elusive. The intermediate phenotype concept represents a strategy for characterizing the neural systems affected by risk gene variants to elucidate quantitative, mechanistic aspects of brain function implicated in psychiatric disease. Using imaging genetics as an example, we illustrate recent advances, challenges and implications of linking genes to structural and functional variation in brain systems related to cognition and emotion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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