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Rethinking Mental Illness

Rethinking Mental Illness COMMENTARY comes possible, depending on the biological and environ- Thomas R. Insel, MD mental context. Philip S. Wang, MD, DrPH The same twin studies that point to high heritability also demonstrate the limits of genetics: environmental factors N THE FIRST 2010 ISSUE OF NATURE, THE EDITOR,PHILIP must be important for mental disorders. The advent of epi- Campbell, suggested that the next 10-year period is genomics, which can detect the molecular effects of expe- likely to be the “decade for psychiatric disorders.” This rience, may provide a powerful approach for understand- Iwas not a prediction of an epidemic, although mental ing the critical effects of early-life events and environment illnesses are highly prevalent, nor a suggestion that new ill- on adult patterns of behavior. Epigenomics can now map nesses would emerge. The key point was that research on changes across the entire genome with unbiased, high- mental illness was, at long last, reaching an inflection point throughput technologies and point to the mechanisms by at which insights gained from genetics and neuroscience which experience confers enduring changes in gene expres- would transform the understanding of psychiatric ill- sion and, ultimately, changes in brain activity and func- nesses. The insights are http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png JAMA American Medical Association

Rethinking Mental Illness

JAMA , Volume 303 (19) – May 19, 2010

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright 2010 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.
ISSN
0098-7484
eISSN
1538-3598
DOI
10.1001/jama.2010.555
pmid
20483974
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

COMMENTARY comes possible, depending on the biological and environ- Thomas R. Insel, MD mental context. Philip S. Wang, MD, DrPH The same twin studies that point to high heritability also demonstrate the limits of genetics: environmental factors N THE FIRST 2010 ISSUE OF NATURE, THE EDITOR,PHILIP must be important for mental disorders. The advent of epi- Campbell, suggested that the next 10-year period is genomics, which can detect the molecular effects of expe- likely to be the “decade for psychiatric disorders.” This rience, may provide a powerful approach for understand- Iwas not a prediction of an epidemic, although mental ing the critical effects of early-life events and environment illnesses are highly prevalent, nor a suggestion that new ill- on adult patterns of behavior. Epigenomics can now map nesses would emerge. The key point was that research on changes across the entire genome with unbiased, high- mental illness was, at long last, reaching an inflection point throughput technologies and point to the mechanisms by at which insights gained from genetics and neuroscience which experience confers enduring changes in gene expres- would transform the understanding of psychiatric ill- sion and, ultimately, changes in brain activity and func- nesses. The insights are

Journal

JAMAAmerican Medical Association

Published: May 19, 2010

References