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Endophenotypes in the personality disorders

By Larry J. Siever

Abstract

The identification of endophenotypes in the personality disorders may provide a basis for the identification of underlying genotypes that influence the traits and dimensions of the personality disorders, as well as susceptibility to major psychiatric illnesses. Clinical dimensions of personality disorders that lend themselves to the study of corresponding endophenotypes include affective instability impulsiwity aggression, emotional information processing, cognitive disorganization, social deficits, and psychosis. For example, the propensity to aggression can be evaluated by psychometric measures, interview, laboratory paradigms, neurochemical imaging, and pharmacological studies. These suggest that aggression is a measurable trait that may be related to reduced serotonergic activity. Hyperresponsiveness of amygdala and other limbic structures may be related to affective instability, while structural and functional brain alterations underlie the cognitive disorganization in psychoticlike symptoms of schizotypal personality disorder. Thus, an endophenotypic approach not only provides clues to underlying candidate genes contributing to these behavioral dimensions, but may also point the way to a better understanding of pathophysiological mechanisms

Topics: Clinical Research
Publisher: Les Laboratoires Servier
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:3181730
Provided by: PubMed Central

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