The Section on Developmental Genetic Epidemiology (SDGE) is at the National Institute of Mental Health. SDGE applies the tools of epidemiology and genetics to identify risk factors for mod and anxiety disorders, and their association with other mental and medical disorders. The SDGE staff is multi-disciplinary with specializations in: epidemiology, clinical psychology, developmental psychology, genetic epidemiology, psychiatry, biostatistics and anthropology. The major research goals are:
- To apply the family study design to identify transmissible components of mental disorders and sources of comorbidity with other psychiatric and medical disorders;
- To study mechanisms for comorbidity between mood and anxiety disorders with other mental disorders (e.g. substance abuse) and medical disorders (e.g. migraine);
- To identify early manifestations of psychopathology by studying offspring of parents with mental disorders prospectively, with particular focus n the emergence of sex differences across the adolescent and early adult transitions;
- Samples for the programs in SDGE include: clinical samples of subjects with anxiety and affective disorders and their relatives and spouses; population based samples of children and adolescents identified through local schools; population based samples of adults;
- To identify biologic and contextual factors underlying the development of mood and anxiety disorders;
- To conduct population based studies of adults and adolescents.