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Polygenic Risk Scores: What Are They Good For?

      Matt was in many ways the stereotypical “all-American” teenager: a multisport athlete, class president, and valedictorian of his high school. It seemed preordained that he would attend his dream college and continue this extraordinary trajectory. But something went wrong. In his first year of college, he struggled academically and became increasing withdrawn. He sought treatment through the university’s health services. He was diagnosed with depression but engaged ambivalently with the clinic, with intermittent adherence with his medications and therapy appointments. His therapist worked hard to understand Matt’s resistance to treatment and to establish a therapeutic alliance. Matt ultimately disclosed—with a deep sense of shame—what he considered both his darkest secret and fear. When he was 6 years old, his father began behaving erratically, went missing for long periods of time; his father was committed against his will to a state psychiatric hospital, where he eventually died. Tearfully, Matt turns to you and asks, “What if the same thing is happening to me?”
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