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Psychiatry is a subfield of medicine concerned with disorders traditionally deemed mental in nature. These include, most notably, neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia but also neurodevelopmental disorders like autism and schizophrenia.

Etiology of psychiatric pathology

Gene–environment interactions in psychiatry are being actively studied with mixed results.[1][2] No interaction was found between the serotonin transporter gene and stressful life events in causing major depressive disorder[3] while may interactive with stressful life events to cause post-traumatic stress disorder.[4]


The interrater reliability of psychiatric diagnosis varies across diseases.[5]


  1. Duncan LE, Keller MC (2011). "A Critical Review of the First 10 Years of Candidate Gene-by-Environment Interaction Research in Psychiatry.". Am J Psychiatry 168 (10): 1041-9. DOI:10.1176/appi.ajp.2011.11020191. PMID 21890791. Research Blogging.
  2. Zammit S, Owen MJ, Lewis G (2010). "Misconceptions about gene-environment interactions in psychiatry.". Evid Based Ment Health. DOI:10.1136/ebmh1056. PMID 20530600. Research Blogging.
  3. Risch N, Herrell R, Lehner T, Liang KY, Eaves L, Hoh J et al. (2009). "Interaction between the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR), stressful life events, and risk of depression: a meta-analysis.". JAMA 301 (23): 2462-71. DOI:10.1001/jama.2009.878. PMID 19531786. PMC PMC2938776. Research Blogging.
  4. Binder EB, Bradley RG, Liu W, Epstein MP, Deveau TC, Mercer KB et al. (2008). "Association of FKBP5 polymorphisms and childhood abuse with risk of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms in adults.". JAMA 299 (11): 1291-305. DOI:10.1001/jama.299.11.1291. PMID 18349090. PMC PMC2441757. Research Blogging.
  5. Way BB, Allen MH, Mumpower JL, Stewart TR, Banks SM (1998). "Interrater agreement among psychiatrist in psychiatric emergency assessments.". Am J Psychiatry 155 (10): 1423-8. PMID 9766775[e]