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(113,624 posts)
Sun Mar 3, 2013, 04:41 AM Mar 2013

Huge study: 5 mental disorders share genetic links

WASHINGTON -- The largest genetic study of mental illnesses to date finds five major disorders may not look much alike but they share some gene-based risks. The surprising discovery comes in the quest to unravel what causes psychiatric disorders and how to better diagnose and treat them.

The disorders -- autism, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder or ADHD, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and schizophrenia -- are considered distinct problems. But findings published online Wednesday suggest they're related in some way.

"These disorders that we thought of as quite different may not have such sharp boundaries," said Dr. Jordan Smoller of Massachusetts General Hospital, one of the lead researchers for the international study appearing in The Lancet.

That has implications for learning how to diagnose mental illnesses with the same precision that physical illnesses are diagnosed, said Dr. Bruce Cuthbert of the National Institute on Mental Health, which funded the research.

More at http://www.khou.com/news/health/Huge-study-5-mental-disorders-share-genetic-links--193738251.html .

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Huge study: 5 mental disorders share genetic links (Original Post) TexasTowelie Mar 2013 OP
Interesting to note the calcium channeling medications Sienna86 Mar 2013 #1
Interesting Tobin S. Mar 2013 #2
You're welcome. TexasTowelie Mar 2013 #3
Maybe so Tobin S. Mar 2013 #4
I have consulted with a physician TexasTowelie Mar 2013 #6
IMO, the importance here isn't about Ca channels but is on understanding of relatedness of MI's HereSince1628 Mar 2013 #5
Perhaps this can relieve some stigma get the red out Mar 2013 #7


(2,150 posts)
1. Interesting to note the calcium channeling medications
Sun Mar 3, 2013, 08:38 AM
Mar 2013

may have an effect. Will watch these drug trials to see.


(113,624 posts)
3. You're welcome.
Sun Mar 3, 2013, 08:56 AM
Mar 2013

I'm reasonably certain that I have bipolar disorder. One of my male cousins committed suicide at 19. I also have a nephew with autism and another nephew with ADHD so I find it reasonable to believe that we are genetically predisposed to these disorders.

Tobin S.

(10,418 posts)
4. Maybe so
Sun Mar 3, 2013, 09:04 AM
Mar 2013

Researchers have suspected for a long time that there is a genetic component to the development of mental illnesses. It's good to see evidence coming forth that that is indeed the case. It gives weight to the idea that mental illnesses are brain disorders, an actual physical disease. That seems apparent to anyone who has studied mental health issues a bit, but a lot of people still think it's something other than a physical problem.

BTW, it would be a good idea to see a professional about your suspected diagnosis. If it turns out to be the case, you could save yourself a lot of pain, and possibly your life, by getting treatment now.


(113,624 posts)
6. I have consulted with a physician
Sun Mar 3, 2013, 01:59 PM
Mar 2013

and I am taking a SSRI anti-depressant that does provide some relief. My depressed moods are triggered by external problems or hateful comments by others, particularly from my family. That's why I tell my family that if they don't have anything positive to contribute, then keep away from me.


(36,063 posts)
5. IMO, the importance here isn't about Ca channels but is on understanding of relatedness of MI's
Sun Mar 3, 2013, 01:54 PM
Mar 2013

Formally relatedness is revealed in classification of illness into categories of 'like things'. That practice is called 'nosology' the discipline of naming illnesses.

Most of us are familiar with zoological and botanical classifications wherein organisms are placed into categories based on shared genetic and evolutionary history. Such classifications have biological coherence and make possible comparative studies--biologists consequently know under what circumstances where the biology of a bacteria, a bass or badger can be used as a reasonable model for human biology (and they all could be for different types of study).

Historically classification of mental illness has been based on patterns of obvious clinical symptoms. Under that consideration a mental illness is seen as belonging to anxiety disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, impulse disorders and personality disorders, with a couple others such as somatoform, sexual disorders, and faking disorders etc thrown in to fill out the corners.

Until very recently classifications of mental illness were made by clinicians with very little knowledge of the neurological mechanisms that cause mental illness. That's particularly true at the molecular/cellular level considered in this study. The lack of knowing underlying causes forced the field to focus in on symptoms and promoted some pretty interesting early conceptualizations (ego, id, narcissistic injury) and very elevated erudition about what are basically imaginary heuristic constructs.

Because this study links neuro-biological features of calcium channels across existing categories of mental illness it underscores how the traditional classification is not always very reflective of the biological foundations of mental illness.

This study is another step forward for those arguing for classifications of mental illness that may make sense of mental disorders at molecular as well as clinical levels. It is one of the growing number of studies in molecular and cellular neurobiology that point to the need to reconsider how clinicians split or lump illnesses and thereby choose appropriate treatments for illnesses whose biological relatedness may be quite mistaken.

Focusing on the importance of 'now they know calcium channels in cell membranes need attention' rather misses a probably more important point : Symptoms-based classifications of mental illness are mistaken, and that may confuse rather than clarify the practice of psychiatric medicine.

But that's my opinion and I'm just a lay-person with a bit of understanding of the importance of systematics.

get the red out

(13,468 posts)
7. Perhaps this can relieve some stigma
Mon Mar 4, 2013, 12:26 PM
Mar 2013

People "get" the idea of inherited illness, perhaps this genetic link will help relieve some stigma.

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