Neurological and behavioral disorders are often difficult to study: In many cases they are the culmination of years of subtle biological processes, and the nervous system is inherently complex. Thus, researchers have been eager to exploit new, genome-scale technologies that promise fresh avenues to understanding these disorders. Here we review these technologies and present examples of neurological and behavioral findings that they have engendered. These technologies include oligonucleotide arrays, which are widely used for several purposes. Among these are genome-wide association studies (GWASs) and gene expression profiling – the simultaneous assessment of the transcript levels of all genes. Other genome-scale approaches to investigation of neurological and behavioral disorders rely on the high-throughput, parallel measurement of small molecules (metabolomics) and proteins (proteomics). Finally, next-generation DNA sequencing is poised to revolutionize neurological and behavioral research. It will provide global perspectives on the role of rare genetic variants in neurological and behavioral disorders. It will also revolutionize genome-wide assessment of protein- DNA interactions and partly supplant oligonucleotide arrays for transcriptional profiling. Genome-scale technologies have already affected neurological and behavioral research, and, in the near future, the effects of further technological advances will be profound.
Keywords: Oligonucleotide array, metabolomics, proteomics, genome wide association study, next-generation sequencing, copy number variation
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