Thursday, September 21, 2023

Mental Disorders and Their Heritability

Chart showing genetic overlap of mental disorders


Mental disorders, such as ADHD, BPD, SCZ, MDD, and ASD, are traceable to the same genetic variations. People who have any of these mental disorders are more likely to have variations at the same four chromosomal sites. Since the extent of this overlap still remained unclear, researchers looked into this by looking for any comparisons and similarities in the genetic variations among a population of those who have those mental disorders. The population of those with the mental disorder was compared to a control group (those who have not been diagnosed with a mental disorder), to be able to calculate the extent of any overlaps between genetic variants and these mental disorders. Bipolar disease and depression had a 10% heritability and common genetic variation overlap, schizophrenia, and depression had a 9% overlap, schizophrenia and autism had a 3% overlap, and schizophrenia and bipolar disorder had a 10% overlap. Although some of these overlaps may seem minor or insignificant, it is a good starting place to continue research and learn more about the genetic inheritance of these mental disorders.

Mental disorders are greatly affecting our population, so it is crucial to look into the origin of these disorders. If researchers are able to find a greater overlap in the connection between these disorders and heritability, then maybe we can learn more about mental disorders and how to better treat and manage them. I would be curious to know if any other mental disorders have significant overlaps between heritability and genetic variation. 

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