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Can Genomic Data Aid in the Diagnosis of Schizophrenia?

October 20, 2020

In this video, Sanjai Rao, MD, discusses whether genomic data can aid in the diagnosis of schizophrenia. Dr. Rao made his comments during a Psych Congress 2020 session titled "Solving Clinical Challenges in Schizophrenia," in which he answered a variety of questions related to schizophrenia which were submitted by clinicians.

Dr. Rao is Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Associate Residency Training Director, University of California San Diego School of Medicine and VA San Diego Healthcare System.

Read the transcript:

Let's dive right in and start with genomic data. I want to preface this by saying I'm not, by any means, an expert in genetics or in neuroimaging, which we're going to talk about next. I'm really approaching this as a clinician and as a clinician educator.

What of this can I use in treating my patients? What of this can I teach my residents in order to help them treat their patients?

Really, with genomic data, the quick answer on this is we're not there yet. We've known for many years that there are a number of different genetic markers on over a hundred different chromosomal sites that are associated with the neurodevelopmental abnormalities that we see in schizophrenia.

I've listed a little bit of the alphabet soup here that you can find in any good review article on this subject, but really, the bottom line on this is that none of these things are sensitive enough or specific enough to be used in clinical diagnosis.

If you're dreaming of doing a blood test to figure out whether someone's genome matches up with schizophrenia, sorry, we're really not there yet.

MORE: Visit the Schizophrenia Center of Excellence for authoritative insights and best practices from leaders in the field.

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