Schizophrenia research has undergone a recent transformation. By leveraging large sample sizes, genome-wide association studies of common genetic variants have approximately tripled the number of candidate genetic loci. Rare variant studies have identified copy number variants that are schizophrenia risk loci. Among these, the 3q29 microdeletion is now known to be the single largest schizophrenia risk factor. Next-generation sequencing studies are increasingly used for rare variant association testing, and have already facilitated identification of large effect alleles. Collectively, recent findings implicate voltage-gated calcium channel and cytoskeletal pathways in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Taken together, these results suggest the possibility of imminent breakthroughs in the molecular understanding of schizophrenia.
Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.