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Schizophrenia is associated with subtle structural and functional brain abnormalities. Both recent and classical data suggest that it is a heterogeneous disorder that is clearly heritable. The cause and course of schizophrenia are poorly understood, and classical categories of clinical symptoms have not been particularly useful in identifying its pathophysiology or predicting its treatment. The possible genetic risk factors for schizophrenia are numerous; however, the connection between the genotype and the time-course, or the multifaceted symptoms of the disease, has yet to be established. Brain imaging methods that study the structure or function of the cortical and subcortical regions have also identified distinct patterns that distinguish schizophrenics from controls, and that may identify meaningful subtypes of schizophrenia. The predictive relationship between these imaging phenotypes and disease characteristics such as treatment response is only beginning to be revealed. The emergence of the field of imaging genetics, combining genetic, and neuroimaging data, holds much promise for the deeper understanding and improved treatment of diseases such as schizophrenia. In this article we review some of the key findings in imaging phenotyping and genotyping of schizophrenia, and the initial endeavors at their combination into more meaningful and predictive patterns, or endophenotypes identifying the relationships among clinical symptoms, course, genes, and the underlying pathophysiology.
Neuroinformatics – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 11, 2007
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