Some mental illness may no longer need to be diagnosed through social tests. While the United States busys itself with corporate protectionist legislation like the TPP to protect the major drug companies, some of the world is experimenting with the new precise, cheap and repeatable gene editing method known as CRISPR.
In the past gene editing was hit or miss. Practiced more like chemistry, it was more like a million misses to a marginal hit. Identifying a gene was not enough, splicing it became a major endeavor for companies like Monsanto. Experiments on human DNA (except perhaps if you count our GMO diet) was effectively impossible.
As of 2015, the CRISPR technique, takes a precise strand of DNA and inserts it, reliably, in a larger DNA strand, precisely where it is told to insert it. This is the holy grail of both nano scale assembly, and made to order DNA. The mind reels. Designer babies are eminent. Greatly reduced aging is possible. DNA based nanites can built to both manufacture on the table top and enhance human attributes.
These are in the future (AFAIK), but before all that, apparently we have already begun to use it verify genetic disease. The technology is not even a year old and Chinese scientists have already implanted a suspected autism gene in monkeys, to see if their behavior varies. It does.
The implications are huge for all illness from athletes foot to cancer, but it’s important that the first study is on behavioral disease. If the civilization gene is correct and psychopathy is genetic, we could be close to a completely different world. There are no suspect genes (other than the debunked warrior gene) at the moment, but it is possible to find, were the right people to take interest. Now, a new way to verify that first study is readily available.
Conversely should some mental illnesses become officially understood to be genetic, psychopaths should be easier to diagnose. Psychopaths are the highest functioning mental illness. ASPD stage psychopaths are well known for feigning other mental illnesses to evade detection. A narrower field of patients through genetic screening for other disease means less misdiagnosis, and more understanding of the social consequences of widespread psychopathy. That ultimately means real targeted help for the psychopaths.