Dr. Lieberman explains if schizophrenia is a hereditary disease.
Well, family history is a very important aspect of assessing somebody’s risk for schizophrenia because we know that schizophrenia runs in families and that the likelihood of an individual developing schizophrenia is directly related to how much genetic background, how many genes they share with their family member who has the illness.
So for example, if you have a, in the general population, the average rate of schizophrenia is 1 in a 100 in their lifetime will develop schizophrenia. Makes it not a frequent disease, but not a rare disease either.
If you have a parent with schizophrenia, your chances are about ten percent, 10 out of a 100, so 10 times higher. If you have a brother with schizophrenia, it’s about 13%, if you have a sibling. If you have a twin, and the highest obviously is associated with an identical twin, then your chances are 50 times out of 100, or 50 times greater than the general population.
So we know that it runs in families. We know that the likelihood of developing it if you have the family members depends on how closely you are related to that person.
About Dr. Lieberman, M.D.:
Jeffrey A. Lieberman, M.D. currently is the Lawrence E. Kolb Chairman of Psychiatry at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute. He also holds the Lieber Chair and Directs the Lieber Center for Schizophrenia Research in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia.