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_________________________________________________________________________________________________ CHAPTER _________________________ 2 Genetics of Mood Disorders Alessandro Serretti Vita-Salute University, Milan, Italy BACKGROUND History The idea that mood disorders are heritable disturbances may be dated back to Hippocrates theory of constitutional types. In fact, the hypothesis that psychopathological traits could be inherited (known as atavism) has been present since the origins of psychiatry, suggested by the observation that in some particular families there were more affected subjects than in the general population.

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