Biological markers are quantitative measures that allow clinicians to diagnose and assess the disease process, monitor response to treatment and may, to some extent, assist with prognostic assessments (1). Biological markers can modify the way clinicians approach, treat and care for patients. This has significant diagnostic and treatment-related implications, especially for chronic disabling disorders with complex etiopathogenesis, such as schizophrenia. Years of research have yielded a variety of relatively consistent findings in different domains including neuroanatomy, functional and molecular neuroimaging, neurophysiology, genetics and biochemistry. These attributes can complement clinical findings with improved diagnostic validity, and to some extent, assist the clinician in early initiation of efficacious treatment and predicting prognosis. On the contrary, many of these potential biological markers may require expensive testing and enhanced technological expertise. Considering the issues with sensitivity and specificity and an overlap with other neuropsychiatric disorders, their role in routine clinical care continues to be ambiguous.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmacology (medical)