Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

Non-Mendelian etiologic factors in neuropsychiatric illness: Pleiotropy, epigenetics, and convergence

Curtis K. Deutscha1 and William J. McIlvanea1

a1 Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Waltham, MA 02452.


The target article by Charney on behavior genetics/genomics discusses how numerous molecular factors can inform heritability estimations and genetic association studies. These factors find application in the search for genes for behavioral phenotypes, including neuropsychiatric disorders. We elaborate upon how single causal factors can generate multiple phenotypes, and discuss how multiple causal factors may converge on common neurodevelopmental mechanisms.

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