Much akin to neuropsychiatric disorders themselves, alternative splicing events can be influenced by genetic, developmental, and environmental factors.
Here, we review the evidence that abnormalities of splicing may contribute to the liability toward these disorders.
First, we introduce the phenomenon of alternative splicing and describe the processes involved in its regulation.
We then review the evidence for specific splicing abnormalities in a wide range of neuropsychiatric disorders, including psychotic disorders (schizophrenia), affective disorders (bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder), suicide, substance abuse disorders (cocaine abuse and alcoholism), and neurodevelopmental disorders (autism).
Next, we provide a theoretical reworking of the concept of “gene-focused” epidemiologic and neurobiologic investigations.
Lastly, we suggest potentially fruitful lines for future research that should illuminate the nature, extent, causes, and consequences of alternative splicing abnormalities in neuropsychiatric disorders.
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