PerspectiveMedicine

Brain disorders? Precisely

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Science  01 May 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6234, pp. 499-500
DOI: 10.1126/science.aab2358

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Summary

Mental disorders represent a public health challenge of staggering proportions. In the most recent Global Burden of Disease study, mental and substance abuse disorders constitute the leading source of years lost to disability from all medical causes (1). The World Health Organization estimates over 800,000 suicides each year globally, nearly all of which are a consequence of a mental disorder (2). These high morbidity and mortality figures speak to the potential for overall health gains if mental disorders can be more effectively diagnosed and treated. Could a “precision medicine” approach find traction here?