Researchers have found a way to scan electronic health records (EHRs) that helps identify associations between broad dimensions of behavioral function and genes relevant to mental disorders. Use of the technique opens an enormous source of data to researchers who are interested in taking a dimensional approach to the study of mental illnesses instead of using traditional diagnostic categories. The study, funded in part by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), was published online February 26, 2018 in the journal Biological Psychiatry.
As medicine has entered the digital age, the use of electronic systems for managing health data has skyrocketed. These electronic health records provide a trove of information for researchers who want to understand factors that contribute to health and illness.