Clinical genetics

Learning outcomes:

By the end of this module you should be able to:


  • describe the role and organisation of clinical genetics services in the UK


  • explain the principles underlying the genetic basis of psychiatric disorders, including genotype-phenotype correlation


  • define the term 'endophenotype' and describe how it is used in psychiatric genetics research


  • list some of the environmental factors thought to predispose to psychiatric disorders and understand their interaction with genetics


  • define the term 'epigenetics' and describe its potential role in psychiatric disorders. 


Module introduction

All of the major psychiatric disorders have an aetiology that is, at least partly, genetic. Establishing the molecular genetics underlying psychiatric disorders not only has the potential to provide better information for genetic counselling but also to illuminate the biological mechanisms underlying disorders, with the eventual aim of identifying better treatments.


The increasing awareness of the role of genetics both in psychiatric research and clinical practice means that it is vital for psychiatrists to have an understanding of the genetics involved.

This module covers the medical genetics services available in the UK, the genetic basis of psychiatric disorders, phenotypes and environmental factors.


Learning notes

We recommend that you make some notes as you work through this module.


The 'TrOn Notebook' facility can be accessed throughout the module (allowing you to make notes on each page), and these notes will be saved in your personal area 'My TrOn', for future reference. However, you will not be able to print these notes as one single document.


If you would prefer to make your notes in a separate document you may wish to download the 'learning notes' below. This downloadable Word document will allow you to keep a personalised record of your learning, which you can then save and/or print for future reference.


Download the learning notes document for this module

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