Perhaps most importantly, these variations cannot on their own predict or explain the development of autism, ADHD, depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. The researchers point out that – as with almost all genome-wide association studies of complex conditions – the effect of the individual variations identified in these four regions was small, and cannot predict or diagnose these mental health conditions.
"The researchers have stated that the effects of the genetic variations are small, and that on their own the variations would not be useful for predicting or diagnosing these conditions.
It is also simplistic to regard mental health conditions or behavioural problems as being purely genetic. There is a wide range of rigorous evidence that shows that environmental factors are also involved."
“The results of the current study suggest that we may actually treat people more harshly when their problem is described in disease terms,” Mehta wrote. “We say we are being kind, but our actions suggest otherwise.” The problem, it appears, is that the biomedical narrative about an illness like schizophrenia carries with it the subtle assumption that a brain made ill through biomedical or genetic abnormalities is more thoroughly broken and permanently abnormal than one made ill though life events. “Viewing those with mental disorders as diseased sets them apart and may lead to our perceiving them as physically distinct. Biochemical aberrations make them almost a different species.”
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