Integrated Approaches

Some recent articles suggest that research integrating quantitative and molecular approaches with neuroscientific strategies will be the most fruitful way to provide a framework for genetic and environmental effects on organisms. Reiss and Neiderhiser recommend an "integrated" approach. In their 1991 book Schizophrenia Genesis, Irving Gottesman and Dorothea Wolfgram envision the future promise of neuroscience programs to assist progress in schizophrenia. The increasingly important neurodevelopmental perspective approach to schizophrenia has been championed by Tsuang and colleagues and implemented in recent papers from the Pittsburgh group (Mirnics et al.). In addition, a series of ethical issues have arisen in neuroscience that mirror many of those first generated by behavioral genetics, including issues of reduction, determinism, and responsibility. A new term, neuroethics, has been coined to describe these issues (Marcus).

The completion of the draft mapping of the human genome has led to a realization that the next stage of inquiry into examining human behavioral traits, and both somatic and mental disorders, will need to be very complex, involving functional genomics, proteomics (the study of proteins and their effects) (Pandey and Mann), and enviromics (Anthony). These will be difficult and complex projects that will also need to attend carefully to developmental issues, since most human diseases, including psychiatric disorders, probably represent the culmination of "lifelong interactions between our genome and the environment" (Peltonen and McKusick, p. 1228). Animal models will be helpful here, as will new technologies using DNA genetic chips, also known as microarrays.

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