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Front Physiol. 2017 May 9;8:286. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2017.00286. eCollection 2017.

"Gestaltomics": Systems Biology Schemes for the Study of Neuropsychiatric Diseases.

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Instituto Nacional de Medicina GenómicaMexico City, Mexico.
Human Systems Biology Laboratory, Coordinación de la Investigación Científica - Red de Apoyo a la Investigación, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)Mexico City, Mexico.


The integration of different sources of biological information about what defines a behavioral phenotype is difficult to unify in an entity that reflects the arithmetic sum of its individual parts. In this sense, the challenge of Systems Biology for understanding the "psychiatric phenotype" is to provide an improved vision of the shape of the phenotype as it is visualized by "Gestalt" psychology, whose fundamental axiom is that the observed phenotype (behavior or mental disorder) will be the result of the integrative composition of every part. Therefore, we propose the term "Gestaltomics" as a term from Systems Biology to integrate data coming from different sources of information (such as the genome, transcriptome, proteome, epigenome, metabolome, phenome, and microbiome). In addition to this biological complexity, the mind is integrated through multiple brain functions that receive and process complex information through channels and perception networks (i.e., sight, ear, smell, memory, and attention) that in turn are programmed by genes and influenced by environmental processes (epigenetic). Today, the approach of medical research in human diseases is to isolate one disease for study; however, the presence of an additional disease (co-morbidity) or more than one disease (multimorbidity) adds complexity to the study of these conditions. This review will present the challenge of integrating psychiatric disorders at different levels of information (Gestaltomics). The implications of increasing the level of complexity, for example, studying the co-morbidity with another disease such as cancer, will also be discussed.


diagnosis; lung cancer; omics; psychiatry; systems biology

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