The genetics of schizophrenia have been elusive for decades. In the past few years, a complex set of genes and gene variations that confer predisposition for schizophrenia have been identified. As each gene individually is not sufficient to trigger the disorder, it is likely there needs to be a combined presence of several predisposing factors for the disorder to take place. The past several years have been very prolific in identifying such genes, and a common theme that has emerged in this field is that these genes are important for a few common mechanisms, including brain development and the properties of three important brain chemicals: dopamine (of a critical role in motivation and attention), glutamate (the primary excitatory transmitter) and GABA (the main inhibitory agent in the brain). The challenge is to understand the biology of the genes and determine how they exert their influence, particularly in terms of brain development and function. This book provides an overview of recent findings.

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