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Schizophrenia biomarkers : translating the descriptive into the diagnostic

Pickard, Benjamin S (2015) Schizophrenia biomarkers : translating the descriptive into the diagnostic. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 29 (2). pp. 138-143. ISSN 1461-7285

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    While schizophrenia and mental health are qualitatively distinct at the level of clinical presentation, the specific molecular signatures that underlie, or associate with, illness are not. Biomarker identification in schizophrenia is intended to offer a number of important benefits to patient well-being including prediction of future illness, diagnostic clarity and a level of disease description that would guide treatment choice. However, the choice of sample and form of analysis used to produce useful biomarkers is still uncertain. In this review, advances from recent studies spanning the technical spectrum are presented together with comment on their comparative strengths and weaknesses. To date, these studies have aided our understanding of the pathological processes associated with illness much more than they have provided robust biomarkers. A number of reasons for this observation are suggested, as are new strategies for the extraction of biomarkers from large '-omics' datasets.