Brain Res

Brain Res. Brain Res. Rev 2000 Mar;31(2-3):113-7

Familial and Genetic Mechanisms in Schizophrenia

Fuller Torrey E, Yolken RH

A distinction should be made between genetic aspects of schizophrenia and

familial aspects.  Genetic aspects of the disease have been reviewed and

found to be deficient in many respects.  Until recent years, familial

factors were assumed to be psychological in origin, but this assumption is now

discredited.  Research efforts should focus on familial factors that are

biological, especially infectious agents that may be transmitted within the

family.  Most infectious agents are influenced by predisposing genes. 

The etiology of schizophrenia, then, may turn out to involve biological familial

infectious agents that are influenced by susceptibility genes governing the

infectious process and the clinical expression of the disease.