Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Reframing Psychiatry for Precision Medicine

Version 1 : Received: 19 July 2020 / Approved: 21 July 2020 / Online: 21 July 2020 (11:07:07 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Torres, E.B. Reframing Psychiatry for Precision Medicine. J. Pers. Med. 2020, 10, 144. Torres, E.B. Reframing Psychiatry for Precision Medicine. J. Pers. Med. 2020, 10, 144.


The art of observing and describing behaviors has driven diagnosis and informed basic science in Psychiatry. In recent times, studies of mental illness are focused on understanding the brain’s neurobiology but there is a paucity of information on the potential contributions from peripheral activity to mental health. In Precision Medicine, this common practice leaves a gap between bodily behaviors and genomics that we here propose to address with a new layer of inquiry that includes genes’ expression on tissues inclusive of brain, heart, muscle-skeletal and organs for vital bodily functions. We interrogate genes’ expression on human tissue as a function of disease-associated genes. By removing genes linked to disease from the typical human set, and recomputing the genes’ expressions on the tissues, we can compare the outcomes across mental illnesses, well-known neurological conditions, and non-neurological ones. We find that major neuropsychiatric conditions that are behaviorally defined today (e.g. Autism, Schizophrenia, Depression) through DSM-observation criteria, have strong convergence with well-known neurological ones (e.g. Ataxias, Parkinson), but less overlap with non-neurological ones. Surprisingly, tissues majorly involved in the central control, coordination, adaptation and learning of movements, emotion and memory are maximally affected in psychiatric diagnoses along with peripheral heart and muscle-skeletal tissues. Our results underscore the importance of considering both the brain-body connection and the contributions of the peripheral nervous systems to mental health.


Autism; Schizophrenia; Mental Depression; Ataxia; Fragile X; Parkinson’s disease; Mitochondria; Genes’ expression; Tissues; neurological disorders; nervous systems disorders


Biology and Life Sciences, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

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