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Conference report (Biological frontiers (General Biology))

Keystone Symposium 2009: The Molecular Basis of Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder
Eunchai Kang1,*
1Institute of Genetic Medicine, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
*Corresponding author
  Received : April 21, 2009
  Accepted : April 23, 2009
  Published : April 28, 2009
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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This is a meeting report on the "Keystone Symposium 2009: The Molecular Basis of Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder" held between March 6 and 10, 2009 in Keystone, Colorado. The Contents covered in this report are i) The molecular basis of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder: what do we know? What do we need?, ii) Genome-Wide studies of disease-related variation, iii) Genes and pathways, iv) Evolution and development of the brain, and v) Concluding remark. Schizophrenia (SCZ) and bipolar disorder (BD) are severe mental illness characterized by psychosis and mood and cognitive disorder. More specifically, SCZ is characterized by deficit in the perception or expression of reality and commonly SCZ patients manifests auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking with dysfunction in social and occupational skills. BP is a condition in which patient experience abnormally manic or hypo manic and abnormally depressed states for a period time in a way that interferes with normal functioning. Sometimes manic episodes lead to psychotic symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations. It is believed that both genetic and environment factors contribute to these psychiatric disease. Due to candidate gene identification by genetic studies and advance in neuroscience and developmental biology, it is likely that we are stepping more closely to elucidating the etiology of SCZ and BD. To discuss the molecular bases of SCZ and BD, this meeting brought together experts studying on different aspect of SCZ and BD, including genetics, neurobiology, cell and developmental biology, psychiatry, and chemical biology. The topics explored in the meeting was including genetics implicating new genes, loci, and genetic variation in disease; the status of epidemiology; several candidate genes and pathways, and their implication in brain development; new therapeutic approaches based on candidate pathways.

Keyword: schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, neurodevelopmental disorder, genome-wide association studies, DISC1, β-catenin, adult neurogenesis, transposable elements, L1, brain development
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