Stratification of bipolar disorder: harnessing clinical heterogeneity and genetics shared with other disorders
Dr Judith Allardyce
New research shows there is a genetic overlap between common psychiatric disorders. The symptoms used to define psychiatric disorders are not specific to any one diagnosis and they are distributed throughout the entire population. This calls into question the current boundaries between diagnoses. We need to move away from descriptive definitions of psychiatric conditions to ones which better map the underlying biology.
I aim to develop novel approaches to psychiatric classification by reconceptualising psychiatric phenotypes as quantitative traits which cut across current diagnoses and extend into the general population. I will also examine the relationship between genetic biomarkers and diagnoses. The novel strata which are indexed by genetic aetiology should more precisely map onto the underlying biology.
Stratifying psychiatric phenotypes in a more biologically valid way will help us develop new therapeutic strategies and interventions.