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March 1 2013

Most Common Psychiatric Disorders Share Genetic Roots

Diverse mental illnesses may actually represent variations on a common theme rather than separate disorders.

A quiet autistic child is certainly unlike a manic adult with bipolar disorder, or a person suffering a bout of paranoia due to schizophrenia, but new research suggests that these varied conditions may be more alike than previously thought.

Researchers analyzed genetic data from some 33,000 people of European descent who had either autism, schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder or attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). They were compared with nearly 28,000 unaffected controls.

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