Uncovering the molecular pathology and biochemistry of mental health disease is currently one of the major challenges of modern medicine. For the primary psychotic, mood and anxiety disorders there are no diagnostic pathology tests, an understanding of the pathophysiology is often rudimentary and the molecular pathology largely unknown. There are many reasons for this but perhaps the most significant is that mental health illnesses do not lend themselves to enquiry in the same way as other disorders. The reductionist molecular biology approach has resulted in significant advances and in some ways psychiatry is a victim of this success. The assumption is that by following the same approach that has until now worked well in other disciplines the pathophysiology of mental illnesses will be explained. Of course molecular biology will help, but on its own is unlikely to yield the quantum advances that characterise so many other fields in medicine.

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