About this Research Topic
The last several decades have witnessed rapid advances in the research field of neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, autism, and depression. Despite massive investment and considerable investigation, the precise aetiology of these diseases still remains incredibly variable and arguably controversial. Both genetic and non-genetic risk factors, as well as interactions and correlations between them, predispose toward neuropsychiatric and behavioral phenotypes. The involvement of liability genes has long been proposed by genetic epidemiology. However, molecular genetic studies have yielded limited success so far, and only a few susceptibility genes are definitely validated by functional analyses and animal studies. This ambiguous genetic picture is being rapidly reshaped through studies of whole genome interrogation, rare monogenic deletions, copy number variations, multiple sets of low risk common-DNA variants and epigenetic modifications. These genetic alterations can be either inherited or occur de novo, hence outlining a highly polygenic and heterogeneous nature. To date, either the liability genes/variants or the underlying mechanisms which lead to psychosis are far from clear and therefore, the prospects for improving clinical treatment are bleak. As a result, the current standard of care, involving either typical or atypical antipsychotic medication, is mostly palliative, has little effects on the long term prognosis, and frequently produces metabolic syndrome, featuring a spectrum of serious metabolic abnormalities including, but not limited to, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular problems. This has in turn added additional layers of complexity.
In this Research Topic, we welcome submissions which describe the most recent findings and progress emerging from neuropsychiatric disorder research. We aim to address at least part of the aforementioned questions and to provide more detailed mechanistic insights for better understanding and early intervention of these refractory diseases.
Keywords: Neuropsychiatric Disorders, Neurodevelopment, Liability Genes, Metabolic Syndrome, Environmental interaction
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