Psychiatric Genetics

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Sir: The recent survey by Dr. Finn and colleagues1 (July 2005) provided useful insight into a psychiatrist’s need to be more knowledgeable about genetic issues in our field. However, one problem in acquiring this knowledge, at this time, is the lack of clarity as to what are the actual recurrence risks for many of the common psychiatric illnesses we treat. An example illustrating this problem is the estimated risk for bipolar disorder quoted2 in this survey (in Table 2 of the article by Finn and colleagues1), i.e., 4% to 18% in a first-degree relative of the proband.’ ‹


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