Medical Case Studies

  • Abbreviation: Med. Case Stud.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6532
  • DOI: 10.5897/MCS
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 42

Case Report

Legacy of mental Illness: A family with unusual genetic penetration

S.M. Yasir Arafat*
  • S.M. Yasir Arafat*
  • Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), Dhaka, Bangladesh.
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Afsana Karim
  • Afsana Karim
  • Department of Pharmacology, BIRDEM General Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
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Shahida Choudhury
  • Shahida Choudhury
  • Department of Psychiatry, Delta Medical College and Hospital, Dhaka. Bangladesh.
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  •  Received: 30 August 2015
  •  Accepted: 23 September 2015
  •  Published: 30 September 2015


Mental illnesses are multifactorial disorders caused by the interaction of genetic and environmental factors. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that the roles of genetic and environmental factors depend on each other.  The aim of the report is to share the presentation of different psychiatric illnesses in generations of a family. A 31 year old male, unmarried, studied up to class eight, unemployed, muslim, non smoker, with average intelligence, hailing from the Dhaka with lower-middle economic background was diagnosed as a case of Schizophrenia. He has very strong family history of mental illness more prominent in male and persistent in generations. Males were affected by schizophrenia, personality disorder and substance related disorder, whereas only one female was affected by depression with suicide. In the patient’s generation, two males were affected with schizophrenia, two male with personality disorder and two with substance related disorder without any presentation in female. In previous generation one male was affected with personality disorder (Father) and one female was suicide committer due to depression (Aunt). There was also presence of male psychotic patients in the grandmother’s family of the patient. Family, twin and adoption studies have shown that, for schizophrenia, autism, manic depressive illness, major depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, panic disorder and other mental illnesses, the transmission of risk was heredity. Our case strongly made us curious to search for any common genetic link between different mental illnesses running in the family.


Key words: Genetic inheritance, gene-environment interaction, case report.