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The Origins of Schizophrenia$
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Alan Brown and Paul Patterson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231151245

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231151245.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
The Origins of Schizophrenia

Alan S. Brown

Paul H. Patterson

Columbia University Press

This chapter provides several domains of research supporting the theory that the origins of schizophrenia encompass both environmental and genetic factors. First, many new findings on potential environmental etiologies have featured fundamental methodologic improvements concerning birth cohort, exposure status, control of confounding, and bias due to attrition. Second, rapid advances in molecular genetic and genomic approaches, including genome-wide association studies, have markedly expanded the power to decipher the genetic variants and modifications that may alter brain development and contribute to susceptibility for schizophrenia. Lastly, translational models of schizophrenia have allowed the testing of several environmental and genetic candidates of this disorder. These discoveries are having profound effects on epidemiologic, genetic, and translational approaches to schizophrenia, including the identification of candidate risk factors, the functional effects of putative susceptibility genes, and the unknown molecules in pre-clinical models.

Keywords:   schizophrenia, birth cohort, control of confounding, risk factors, genetic variants

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