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Can our genes tell us if we are at risk for schizophrenia?

Mark Moronell, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Doctors can assess a person's risk for some medical conditions by using genetic testing. Unfortunately, schizophrenia is not one of these illnesses. Researchers are hoping to use genetic tests to screen for and diagnose schizophrenia in the future. But for now, instead of genetic testing, doctors must perform a series of comprehensive physical, behavioral, and emotional tests to diagnose the illness. We do know that people who have close relatives with schizophrenia are more likely to be diagnosed with the illness than others. In fact, if your parent or sibling has schizophrenia, your chance of having the disease is 10%, compared to the general population, which has a 1% chance. Currently, doctors can assess a person's risk for schizophrenia by looking at his family history rather than his genes.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.