AbstractPhospholipids make up about 60% of the brain's dry weight. In spite of this, phospholipid metabolism has received relatively little attention from those seeking genetic factors involved in psychiatric and neurological disorders. However, there is now increasing evidence from many quarters that abnormal phospholipid and related fatty acid metabolism may contribute to illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. To date the possible specific proteins and genes involved have been relatively ill-defined. This paper reviews the main pathways of phospholipid metabolism, emphasizing the roles of phospholipases of the A2 and C series in signal transduction processes. It identifies some likely protein candidates for involvement in psychiatric and neurological disorders. It also reviews the chromosomal locations of regions likely to be involved in these disorders, and relates these to the known locations of genes directly or indirectly involved in phospholipid and fatty acid metabolism.
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