Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Neuropsychiatric disorders

Shared genetics of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia

Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia share common clinical features, and antipsychotic medications can treat both conditions effectively. An assessment of 73,929 people with bipolar disorder and/or schizophrenia from a Swedish registry found evidence that the two disorders also share more than half of their genetic determinants.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Clinical features, genetic determinants, and treatment response overlap between bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.


  1. Lichtenstein, P. et al. Common genetic determinants of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in Swedish families: a population-based study. Lancet 373, 234–239 (2009).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Potash, J. B. Carving chaos: genetics and the classification of mood and psychotic syndromes. Harv. Rev. Psychiatry 14, 47–63 (2006).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Owen, M. J., Craddock, N. & Jablensky, A. The genetic deconstruction of psychosis. Schizophr. Bull. 33, 905–911 (2007).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Blouin, J. L. et al. Schizophrenia susceptibility loci on chromosomes 13q32 and 8p21. Nat. Genet. 20, 70–73 (1998).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Potash, J. B. et al. Suggestive linkage to chromosomal regions 13q31 and 22q12 in families with psychotic bipolar disorder. Am. J. Psychiatry 160, 680–686 (2003).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Millar, J. K. et al. Disruption of two novel genes by a translocation co-segregating with schizophrenia. Hum. Mol. Genet. 9, 1415–1423 (2000).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Hennah, W. et al. DISC1 association, heterogeneity and interplay in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Mol. Psychiatry doi:10.1038/mp.2008.22 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Stefansson, H. et al. Neuregulin 1 and susceptibility to schizophrenia. Am. J. Hum. Genet. 71, 877–892 (2002).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Green, E. K. et al. Operation of the schizophrenia susceptibility gene, neuregulin 1, across traditional diagnostic boundaries to increase risk for bipolar disorder. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 62, 642–648 (2005).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Craddock, N. & Owen, M. J. Rethinking psychosis: the disadvantages of a dichotomous classification now outweigh the advantages. World Psychiatry 6, 84–91 (2007).

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to James B. Potash.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Potash, J., Bienvenu, O. Shared genetics of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Nat Rev Neurol 5, 299–300 (2009).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing