Purpose of review
The field of molecular genetics has now provided new technology to discover causes, mechanisms and targets for the development of treatments for even the complex inherited disorders, such as schizophrenia and other major psychiatric diseases.
As of the end of the year 2006, schizophrenia research has advanced a long way from epidemiological family surveys to examining the sequenced whole human genome.
Whether entering a new era of the genome will lead to prevention and/or cures will depend on our ability to make sense of the many positive and confusing findings that are now emerging, several of which will not stand the test of time. Going beyond genetic linkage and association studies to pathways, mechanisms and what changes gene expression will be the key.