Genetic insights into the neurodevelopmental origins of schizophrenia

Rebecca Birnbaum, Daniel R. Weinberger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

151 Scopus citations


Schizophrenia is a severe neuropsychiatric disorder with a longstanding history of neurobiological investigation. Although the underlying causal mechanisms remain unknown, early neurodevelopmental events have been implicated in pathogenesis, initially by epidemiological and circumstantial data but more recently by brain-specific molecular and genetic findings. Notably, genomic research has recently uncovered discrete risk variants and risk loci associated with schizophrenia, with the potential to elucidate disease mechanisms. This Review revisits the neurodevelopmental model of schizophrenia from a current genetics perspective, delineating the complex genetic basis of the disorder and highlighting gene expression and epigenetic analyses of post-mortem cortical tissue that suggest that early brain development mediates genetic risk associated with schizophrenia. Future functional genomics investigations will accordingly need to characterize schizophrenia risk loci in relevant neurodevelopmental models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)727-740
Number of pages14
JournalNature Reviews Neuroscience
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Genetic insights into the neurodevelopmental origins of schizophrenia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this