An update on the genetics of schizophrenia

Nadine Norton, Hywel J. Williams, Michael J. Owen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This paper reviews recent molecular genetic studies of schizophrenia and evaluates claims implicating specific genes as susceptibility loci. RECENT FINDINGS: Molecular genetic studies have identified several potential regions of linkage and two associated chromosomal abnormalities, and the evidence is accumulating in favour of several positional candidate genes. Currently, the strongest evidence for putative schizophrenia susceptibility loci relates to the genes encoding dysbindin (DTNBP1) and neuregulin (NRG1). For other genes, disrupted in schizophrenia (DISC1), D-amino acid oxidase activator (DAOA), regulator of G-protein signalling 4 (RGS4) and V-AKT murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog 1 (AKT1) the data are promising but not yet compelling. In the most convincing cases, the risk haplotypes appear to be associated with small effect sizes and do not fully explain the linkage findings that prompted each study. SUMMARY: The ability of positional genetics to implicate novel genes and pathways will open up new vistas for neurobiological research. Despite the accumulation of significant genetic data, however, the susceptibility variants have yet to be identified and detailed follow-up studies are now required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-164
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006


  • Association
  • DTNBP1
  • NRG1
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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