Researchers Find No Clear Paths on Road to Unraveling Schizophrenia

Twenty years ago, many investigators believed that genetics held the key to understanding schizophrenia, an etiologically heterogeneous disease.1 It seemed only a matter of time before the power of genetic analysis could be brought to bear on this malady, resulting in better drug leads and better ways toward prevention.2 So far, genetic advances have been few. "There was really a misjudgment on the part of some in the field," says Kenneth Kendler, professor of psychiatry and human genetics at

Eugene Russo
Jun 9, 2002
Twenty years ago, many investigators believed that genetics held the key to understanding schizophrenia, an etiologically heterogeneous disease.1 It seemed only a matter of time before the power of genetic analysis could be brought to bear on this malady, resulting in better drug leads and better ways toward prevention.2

So far, genetic advances have been few. "There was really a misjudgment on the part of some in the field," says Kenneth Kendler, professor of psychiatry and human genetics at Virginia Commonwealth University. Today, the disease's other potential causes, working in tandem with schizophrenia's genetic component, are receiving considerable attention as well.



Courtesy of Robert H. Yolken

The Evidence Is In: Cumulative percentage of Herpes Simplex Virus -Type 2 antibody levels, for cases and controls, showing 75th and 90th deciles for control sample. This 40-year perspective study presented evidence of a correlation between schizophrenia pathogenesis and herpes simplex...

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