Schizophr Res. 2023 Oct 7:S0920-9964(23)00353-5. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2023.09.042. Online ahead of print.
Schizophrenia is a highly heritable, severe mental illness characterized by hallucinations, delusions, social withdrawal, and cognitive dysfunction present in ∼1% of populations across cultures. There have been recent major advancements in our understanding of the genetic architecture of schizophrenia. Both rare, highly penetrant genetic variants as well as common, low-penetrant genetic variants can predispose individuals to schizophrenia and can impact the way people metabolize psychoactive medications used to treat schizophrenia. However, the impact of these findings on the clinical management of schizophrenia remains limited. This review highlights the few places where genetics currently informs schizophrenia management strategies, discusses major limitations, and reviews promising areas of genetics research that are most likely to impact future schizophrenia care. Specifically, I focuss on psychiatric genetic counseling, genetic testing strategies, pharmacogenetics, polygenic risk, and genetics-guided treatment. Lastly, I emphasize important ethical considerations in the clinical use of genetics for schizophrenia management, including the exacerbation of healthcare inequalities and unintended consequences of new genetic technologies.