Complex neurodevelopmental disorders, such as schizophrenia, autism, attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder, (manic) depressive illness and addiction, are thought to result from an interaction between genetic and environmental factors. Association studies on candidate genes and genome-wide linkage analyses have identified many susceptibility chromosomal regions and genes, but considerable efforts to replicate association have been surprisingly often disappointing. Here, we summarize the current knowledge of the genetic contribution to complex neurodevelopmental disorders, focusing on the findings from association and linkage studies. Furthermore, the contribution of the interaction of the genetic with environmental and epigenetic factors to the aetiology of complex neurodevelopmental disorders as well as suggestions for future research are discussed.
Keywords: Neurodevelopmental disorders, susceptibility genes, environmental factors, gene-environment interactions, association studies, linkage analysis
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