The genetics of mood disorders

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A new thematic series on the genetic basis of mood and anxiety disorders has published its first articles this week in Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders. In her introductory editorial, guest editor for the series Elisabeth Binder highlights the recent developments discovered through the use of genome wide association studies, and discusses the constraints faced with using this technique to identify mood and anxiety disorders. In particular, she highlights the difficulty of identifying pathologically similar patients through verbal questioning, rather than biological methods. This represents a great hurdle in the studying of these conditions; patients may have similar symptoms representing a number of different biological disturbances.

Alongside this editorial, the first article to be published in the series is a timely review by Leussis et al on the Ankyrin 3 gene, commonly associated with bipolar disorder. With a heritability of up to 93%, bipolar disorder is an important example of a disease caused by interactions between genes and the environment. Ankyrin 3 is one of the most significant genes associated with this disorder, and codes for Ankyrin G, a scaffold protein with essential functions in the brain. As a highly debilitating disease, it is of great importance that the pathophysiology of this disorder is understood, and this review investigates the evidence surrounding the role of Ankyrin 3 in the pathophysiology of bipoloar disorder.

The series is still accepting submissions of research and review articles. If you would like to submit your article to the series, please upload the manuscript to the online submission system, indicating in the cover letter that you would like this to be included for consideration in the thematic series. For further information, please contact the editorial team.