Are mental illnesses hereditary?

[Source: China Public Health Network]

Mental illness refers to a variety of biological, Under the influence of psychological and social environmental factors, the disorder of the brain leads to different degrees of impairment of mental activities such as cognition, emotion, will and behavior as clinical manifestations. Including depression, bipolar disorder, Developmental disorders including schizophrenia, other mental illnesses, dementia, intellectual disability, and autism.

Mental disorders are a class of highly inherited polygenic complex diseases, of which the heritability of schizophrenia, autism and bipolar disorder is as high as 80%, and depression and anorexia nervosa are of moderate severity. The heritability is about 40% to 60%.

Can the fetus be detected during the fetal examination of the pregnant mother

Whether she has a mental illness< /span>

For neural deafness, trisomy 21 syndrome, which is congenitally determined, is what we often call mental retardation, Williams syndrome and Fragile X syndrome Symptoms, a common cytogenetic abnormality, can be detected by amniocentesis, or by DNA testing of maternal blood.

The so-called maternal blood DNA is the extraction of venous blood from the pregnant mother, and then through a series of laboratory techniques, A very small amount of free fetal DNA was recovered from it. The fetal DNA placenta penetrates into the mother’s venous blood, and it can be detected in the mother’s blood at this time. Therefore, some of the cytogenetic diseases mentioned just now can be screened by amniocentesis and DNA testing of maternal blood.

But for schizophrenia, autism, and depression, it is still not at the level that can be detected during pregnancy, only when he reaches a certain level. The age of onset, there are some abnormal performance, can be diagnosed.

Parents with mental illness

Can I have a baby

If people with mental illness want to have children, their genetic risk is indeed higher than that of the general population, but after all, about 90% are normal, and only 5%-10% will have the disease. Therefore, patients and their families should not lose confidence.

The heredity of mental illness is related to the state of the patient itself, and to whether the condition recovers well or not , it does not matter whether the function recovers well or not. The so-called good recovery means that the sick students can go to school, the sick workers can work normally, and the sick housewives can take on the housework. In some patients, the condition has improved and then relapsed, which is a situation that should be highly concerned.

Mental disease is a disease caused by defects and imperfections in the brain. Its treatment can only be long-term, difficult to cure, and can only be controlled, just like diabetes and high blood pressure. It is important to realize that, with repeated relapses, the resulting functional deficits will become more and more severe

for hereditary psychosis

Can it be prevented during pregnancy?

Pregnant mothers can use folic acid and multivitamins in the first three months.

This can promote the normal development of the nervous system of the early embryo and prevent some advanced brain functions in the later stage, such as some abnormalities in mental function, which is very necessary.


[1] Guo Yaming, Wang Jintao, Li Wenfang. The development and current situation of integrated traditional Chinese and Western medicine in the treatment of mental illness[J]. Clinical Research of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 2018, 10(33): 141-142.

[2] Li Xiaobai. Current status and prospect of genetic animal models of mental illness [J]. Zhonghua Psychiatry Journal, 2012, 45(2): 65-69.

[3]Wang Chuanyue.Is mental illness hereditary?[J].Psychology and Health,2012(03) :6-7.

Source: China Public Health Network

Hubei Radio and Television Health Development Center Graphic Editor: Dream Philip

Disclaimer: The copyright of this article belongs to the original author. If the source is wrong or infringes your legal rights, you can contact us by email, and we will promptly deal with. Email address: [email protected]