Genetic Identification of Major Psychiatric Disorders Essay

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Most major psychiatric disorder diagnoses are defined as descriptive syndromes on the basis of expert consensus. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) are the standard diagnostic tools used by psychiatrists and clinicians world-wide. Unfortunately, these manuals are classified by clinical agreement and encounter revision every few years. Perpetual revision and increased medicalization of mental disorders also creates a dilemma for diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. Diagnostic classification and…show more content…
While French physicians consider ADHD a psychosocial condition rather than a biological, only 0.5% of French children are diagnosed with ADHD. Conversely, 11% of US children are diagnosed as well as prescribed drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall. The over diagnosis of child-onset ADHD in the US also correlates with the rise of Ritalin prescription and abuse in school and college age adolescents (Mayes et al., 2008). Although physicians are working to implement greater scrutiny on false diagnoses of ADHD, there is still heavy misuse among the adolescent population and variability of doctor bias. The inconsistency in both reliable diagnostic and treatment consensus emphasize the imperative to implement stronger genetics based studies of psychiatric disorders. Such studies to pinpoint genes, gene products and eventually, neuro-biological pathways related to mental disorders can elucidate focused diagnostic tests and effective treatments for mental health patients. Population based studies were among the first scientific studies to confirm the heritable nature of mental disorders. Since the 1970s, psychiatrists clinically observed mental disorders among family members and hypothesized their possible heritable tendencies.
Such hypotheses could not be empirically proven until researchers began doing twin and family studies. Before the Lichtenstein et al. (2009) family study, several population-based studies were conducted,
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