News of the WeekPsychiatry

Beyond DSM: Seeking a Brain-Based Classification of Mental Illness

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Science  19 Mar 2010:
Vol. 327, Issue 5972, pp. 1437
DOI: 10.1126/science.327.5972.1437

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Modern research in neuroscience and genetics has provided a more sophisticated understanding of mental illness, and harnessing this knowledge to improve the diagnosis of psychiatric disorders was a major impetus for undertaking a revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). But even some of those leading the revision say there's still too little known about the biological basis of mental illness, and as a result DSM continues to be based on symptoms rather than causes.