n South African Psychiatry Review - Multiple affected Afrikaner families in a schizophrenia genetic study : environmental risk factors in interaction with genotypes : original article

Volume 7, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1811-7805



The authors report on six multiple affected Afrikaner families suffering from schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorders. These families form part of an ongoing study on genetics of schizophrenia. Three or more first degree relatives were affected in these families. In each family, the following will be reported on: a family tree, sociodemographic data, diagnostic features, substance abuse, early insults, early deviant behaviour, and longitudinal course of illness. Environmental risk factors in interaction with genotypes are discussed and it is emphasised that diseases will tend to cluster in families not because of a direct genetic effect, but because relatives are more vulnerable to the risk-increasing effect of a prevalent environmental risk factor. Progress in the study of environmental factors that interact with genes needs to go hand in hand with developments in molecular genetics.

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