Genomic studies have revealed that thousands of alterations in genetic loci will contribute to neuropsychiatric disease. However, genetic variation increases risk by altering multiple levels of transcript and protein expression through diverse levels of regulation. Molecular changes, in turn, alter the function of brain cells and circuits that lead to changes in cognition and behavior. A major challenge is to understand systematically how alterations in many risk genes involving diverse functional pathways manifest in neuronal phenotypes that mediate increases in disease risk. Here we discuss how gene networks offer a robust framework for understanding neurodevelopment and neurodevelopmental disease, focusing on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and schizophrenia (SCZ). We highlight how network analysis has connected genetics to functional genomics to identify developmental epochs, neuronal cell types, and circuits related to ASD and SCZ. Gene networks aid in prioritizing neurobiological pathways for experimental validation and make predictions about how future risk factors might affect disease.
|Title of host publication||Genomics, Circuits, and Pathways in Clinical Neuropsychiatry|
|Number of pages||18|
|State||Published - 21 Jun 2016|
- Gene expression
- Mental illness
- Systems biology