Gene-environment interactions in schizophrenia: A literature review

Marah H. Wahbeh, Dimitrios Avramopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Schizophrenia is a devastating mental illness with a strong genetic component that is the subject of extensive research. Despite the high heritability, it is well recognized that non-genetic factors such as certain infections, cannabis use, psychosocial stress, childhood adversity, urban environment, and immigrant status also play a role. Whenever genetic and non-genetic factors co-exist, interaction between the two is likely. This means that certain exposures would only be of consequence given a specific genetic makeup. Here, we provide a brief review of studies reporting evidence of such interactions, exploring genes and variants that moderate the effect of the environment to increase risk of developing psychosis. Discovering these interactions is crucial to our understanding of the pathogenesis of complex disorders. It can help in identifying individuals at high risk, in developing individualized treatments and prevention plans, and can influence clinical management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1850
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Cannabis
  • Environment
  • Gene-environment interactions
  • Genetics
  • Polygenic risk score
  • Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Toxoplasma gondii

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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