Psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are known to be highly heritable. Despite decades of research, however, the genetic variations conferring susceptibility to these illnesses have yet to be identified. Such genetic variations most likely produce abnormalities of brain structure and function from which the clinical features of psychosis emerge.
The Maudsley Family Study of Psychosis investigates the genetically produced markers of abnormal brain structure and function ("intermediate phenotypes") which underlie the clinical syndrome of schizophrenia, and more recently bipolar disorder. In this book, key findings of this important research program, and their implications for this field, are discussed in detail. Contributors outline research examining brain structure and functioning in patients with schizophrenia and their unaffected first degree relatives, incorporating detailed clinical assessments, magnetic resonance imaging, electrophysiology, eye tracking measures and neuropsychology.
This book provides an improved understanding of illness pathways and potential scope for intervention in order to better manage and prevent psychotic disorders and will be of interest to academics and clinicians in the field.
Colm McDonald is Professor of Psychiatry at National University of Ireland, Galway and visiting Professor at the Institute of Psychiatry, King‚s College London. He trained in clinical and academic psychiatry in Dublin, and at the Maudsley Hospital and Institute of Psychiatry, London.