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Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2010;12(4):449-56.

Imaging genetics of schizophrenia.

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Central Institute of Mental Health, J5, 68159 Mannheim, Germany.


Recent years have seen an explosive growth of interest in the application of imaging genetics to understand neurogenetic mechanisms of schizophrenia. Imaging genetics applies structural and functional neuroimaging to study subjects carrying genetic risk variants that relate to a psychiatric disorder. We review selected aspects of this literature, starting with a widely studied candidate gene--the catechol-O-methyltransferase gene (COMT)--discussing other candidate genes in the dopaminergic system, and then discussing variants with genome-wide support. In future perspectives, approaches to characterize epistatic effects, the identification of new risk genes through forward-genetic approaches using imaging phenotypes, and the study of rare structural variants are considered.

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