High societal cost of brain and nervous system disorders attributed to genetic influences

March 01, 2004

CHICAGO - More than 40 percent of the societal burden of brain disorders is estimated to be due to complex genetic influences, according to a special report in the March issue of The Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

George R. Uhl, M.D., Ph.D., of the National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, Md., and Robert W. Grow, M.S., of the National Institutes of Health and The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md., provided estimates of the impact of complex genetics on brain and nervous system disorders (including depressive illness, stroke, Parkinson disease, Huntington disease, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders) in the United States based on approximations of disease costs to society and disease heritability. Costs were calculated based on literature sources and the Lewin-National Foundation for Brain Research estimates updated for population growth and consumer price index inflation. Heritability estimates were taken from studies based on twins.

"Brain and nervous system disorders may cost the United States as much as $1.2 trillion annually, and affect many millions of American each year," write the authors. "Twin data suggest that more than 40 percent of the societal burden of brain disorders is likely to be genetically mediated." The authors also suggest that most of the disease burden can be traced to complex, multi-gene interactions, as well as environmental factors. Less than 2 percent of the costs can be attributed to single-gene influences.

"The remarkable size of the burden that complex genetics of brain disorders places on the U.S. society implies that identifying the specific alleles [gene variations] of the genes that contribute to these disorders can have a large impact here and in the rest of the world," the researchers write. "Clinicians with interests in brain disorders should position themselves to aid the processes of identifying these alleles and to benefit from improved integration of these genetic insights with prevention, diagnosis, and treatment strategies for the many challenging disorders of the brain and nervous system."
-end-
(Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2004;61:223-229. Available post-embargo at archgenpsychiatry.com)
Editor's Note: This study was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Baltimore, Md.

For more information, contact JAMA/Archives Media Relations at 312/464-JAMA (5262) or e-mail mediarelations@jama-archives.org .

The JAMA Network Journals

Related Brain Articles from Brightsurf:

Glioblastoma nanomedicine crosses into brain in mice, eradicates recurring brain cancer
A new synthetic protein nanoparticle capable of slipping past the nearly impermeable blood-brain barrier in mice could deliver cancer-killing drugs directly to malignant brain tumors, new research from the University of Michigan shows.

Children with asymptomatic brain bleeds as newborns show normal brain development at age 2
A study by UNC researchers finds that neurodevelopmental scores and gray matter volumes at age two years did not differ between children who had MRI-confirmed asymptomatic subdural hemorrhages when they were neonates, compared to children with no history of subdural hemorrhage.

New model of human brain 'conversations' could inform research on brain disease, cognition
A team of Indiana University neuroscientists has built a new model of human brain networks that sheds light on how the brain functions.

Human brain size gene triggers bigger brain in monkeys
Dresden and Japanese researchers show that a human-specific gene causes a larger neocortex in the common marmoset, a non-human primate.

Unique insight into development of the human brain: Model of the early embryonic brain
Stem cell researchers from the University of Copenhagen have designed a model of an early embryonic brain.

An optical brain-to-brain interface supports information exchange for locomotion control
Chinese researchers established an optical BtBI that supports rapid information transmission for precise locomotion control, thus providing a proof-of-principle demonstration of fast BtBI for real-time behavioral control.

Transplanting human nerve cells into a mouse brain reveals how they wire into brain circuits
A team of researchers led by Pierre Vanderhaeghen and Vincent Bonin (VIB-KU Leuven, Université libre de Bruxelles and NERF) showed how human nerve cells can develop at their own pace, and form highly precise connections with the surrounding mouse brain cells.

Brain scans reveal how the human brain compensates when one hemisphere is removed
Researchers studying six adults who had one of their brain hemispheres removed during childhood to reduce epileptic seizures found that the remaining half of the brain formed unusually strong connections between different functional brain networks, which potentially help the body to function as if the brain were intact.

Alcohol byproduct contributes to brain chemistry changes in specific brain regions
Study of mouse models provides clear implications for new targets to treat alcohol use disorder and fetal alcohol syndrome.

Scientists predict the areas of the brain to stimulate transitions between different brain states
Using a computer model of the brain, Gustavo Deco, director of the Center for Brain and Cognition, and Josephine Cruzat, a member of his team, together with a group of international collaborators, have developed an innovative method published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Sept.

Read More: Brain News and Brain Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.