This is an excellent question. Once a disease-associated gene has been found, researchers still have to study its function, and then find a way to treat the defect. This takes time. I am optimistic, however. In other areas of medicine (cancer treatments for example), efforts to understand the genetics and molecular biology of the disease are starting to pay off, with promising treatments at least for some of the conditions. I would like to predict that laboratory work and genetic studies will also open up the way to new treatments for various brain and behavior disorders, but it will take time. Some breakthroughs in medicine took only years for new treatments to emerge after a gene discovery, others have taken decades.
Schahram Akbarian, M.D., Ph.D.
Scientific Council Member
1993, 2000 NARSAD Young Investigator Grantee
1997 Klerman Prizewinner
Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience
Chief of the Division of Psychiatric Epigenomics
Mount Sinai School of Medicine