Gene × Environment interaction in developmental disorders : where do we stand and what’s next?
Borelli, Jessica L.
Date of Issue2018
School of Social Sciences
Although the field of psychiatry has witnessed the proliferation of studies on Gene × Environment (G×E) interactions, still limited is the knowledge we possess of G×E interactions regarding developmental disorders. In this perspective paper, we discuss why G×E interaction studies are needed to broaden our knowledge of developmental disorders. We also discuss the different roles of hazardous versus self-generated environmental factors and how these types of factors may differentially engage with an individual’s genetic background in predicting a resulting phenotype. Then, we present examplar studies that highlight the role of G×E in predicting atypical developmental trajectories as well as provide insight regarding treatment outcomes. Supported by these examples, we explore the need to move beyond merely examining statistical interactions between genes and the environment, and the motivation to investigate specific genetic susceptibility and environmental contexts that drive developmental disorders. We propose that further parsing of genetic and environmental components is required to fully understand the unique contribution of each factor to the etiology of developmental disorders. Finally, with a greater appreciation of the complexities of G×E interaction, this discussion will converge upon the potential implications for clinical and translational research.
Frontiers in Psychology
© 2018 Esposito, Azhari and Borelli. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.