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[Genetics of endogenous psychoses].

[Article in German]


As the endogeneous psychoses do not show a Mendelian mode of inheritance, empirical risk figures have to be calculated. They are heterogeneous and nurture as well as nature have a share in the manifestation of illness. The genetic basis of the schizophrenias is demonstrated by twin and adoption studies. The concordance rate in monozygotic twins is four times the rate in dizygotic twins. Schizophrenia is to be found in the biological families of schizophrenic adoptees but not in the adoptive families. However, despite their genetic identity, monozygotic twins do not show 100% concordance but 60% only. Nongenetic factors must be considered. Obviously they are nonspecific and vary between individuals. The same principles apply to the affective psychoses. At present research is most interested in the problem of heterogeneity. Do pure depressive and manic-depressive disease form one genetic entity, or two different ones, or have they in common part of their genetic basis? Some remarks on genetic counselling are made.

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