Marked for life: Are genetic markers helpful in understanding psychological disorders?

Wednesday 3 March 2010

Venue: Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street, London, W1G 0AE

organised by the Royal Society of Medicine and Progress Educational Trust

This public meeting is free to attend (registration is required).

By the end of 2008, genome-wide association studies of autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and schizophrenia in 80,000 subjects and 40billion total genotypes were said to constitute the largest biological experiment ever conducted in psychiatry. Since then, a massive international project has set out to coordinate this growing wealth of genetic data. The first batch of analyses resulting from this work identified several significant common genetic variations associated with schizophrenia, and further findings are expected in 2010. Elsewhere, a 'transcriptional atlas of human brain development' is being created to understand patterns of gene expression relevant to mental health.

What, if anything, does such genetic and epigenetic research mean for those with psychological disorders, their families and their carers? How does the heritability of these conditions relate to genetic, environmental and stochastic (random) factors? Can any social contribution to psychological disorders be usefully captured by categories such as 'gene' and 'environment'? If you are found to have 'the gene for' a disorder (as the popular expression has it), does this effectively mean you are marked for life?

Speakers include:

Derek Bolton
Professor of Philosophy and Psychopathology, King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry

Nick Craddock
Professor of Psychiatry and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at Cardiff University, Leader of the Bipolar Disorder Component of the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium and Coordinator of the Psychiatric Genome-Wide Association Study Consortium

Fenno Outen
Head Occupational Therapist for Newham at East London NHS Foundation Trust

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Registration Details:

6.00 pm


6.30 pm


7.30 pm

Questions from the floor

8.00 pm

Close of meeting

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