13 research outputs found

    Analysis of shared heritability in common disorders of the brain

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    ience, this issue p. eaap8757 Structured Abstract INTRODUCTION Brain disorders may exhibit shared symptoms and substantial epidemiological comorbidity, inciting debate about their etiologic overlap. However, detailed study of phenotypes with different ages of onset, severity, and presentation poses a considerable challenge. Recently developed heritability methods allow us to accurately measure correlation of genome-wide common variant risk between two phenotypes from pools of different individuals and assess how connected they, or at least their genetic risks, are on the genomic level. We used genome-wide association data for 265,218 patients and 784,643 control participants, as well as 17 phenotypes from a total of 1,191,588 individuals, to quantify the degree of overlap for genetic risk factors of 25 common brain disorders. RATIONALE Over the past century, the classification of brain disorders has evolved to reflect the medical and scientific communities' assessments of the presumed root causes of clinical phenomena such as behavioral change, loss of motor function, or alterations of consciousness. Directly observable phenomena (such as the presence of emboli, protein tangles, or unusual electrical activity patterns) generally define and separate neurological disorders from psychiatric disorders. Understanding the genetic underpinnings and categorical distinctions for brain disorders and related phenotypes may inform the search for their biological mechanisms. RESULTS Common variant risk for psychiatric disorders was shown to correlate significantly, especially among attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder (MDD), and schizophrenia. By contrast, neurological disorders appear more distinct from one another and from the psychiatric disorders, except for migraine, which was significantly correlated to ADHD, MDD, and Tourette syndrome. We demonstrate that, in the general population, the personality trait neuroticism is significantly correlated with almost every psychiatric disorder and migraine. We also identify significant genetic sharing between disorders and early life cognitive measures (e.g., years of education and college attainment) in the general population, demonstrating positive correlation with several psychiatric disorders (e.g., anorexia nervosa and bipolar disorder) and negative correlation with several neurological phenotypes (e.g., Alzheimer's disease and ischemic stroke), even though the latter are considered to result from specific processes that occur later in life. Extensive simulations were also performed to inform how statistical power, diagnostic misclassification, and phenotypic heterogeneity influence genetic correlations. CONCLUSION The high degree of genetic correlation among many of the psychiatric disorders adds further evidence that their current clinical boundaries do not reflect distinct underlying pathogenic processes, at least on the genetic level. This suggests a deeply interconnected nature for psychiatric disorders, in contrast to neurological disorders, and underscores the need to refine psychiatric diagnostics. Genetically informed analyses may provide important "scaffolding" to support such restructuring of psychiatric nosology, which likely requires incorporating many levels of information. By contrast, we find limited evidence for widespread common genetic risk sharing among neurological disorders or across neurological and psychiatric disorders. We show that both psychiatric and neurological disorders have robust correlations with cognitive and personality measures. Further study is needed to evaluate whether overlapping genetic contributions to psychiatric pathology may influence treatment choices. Ultimately, such developments may pave the way toward reduced heterogeneity and improved diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders

    Dissecting the Shared Genetic Architecture of Suicide Attempt, Psychiatric Disorders, and Known Risk Factors

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    Background Suicide is a leading cause of death worldwide, and nonfatal suicide attempts, which occur far more frequently, are a major source of disability and social and economic burden. Both have substantial genetic etiology, which is partially shared and partially distinct from that of related psychiatric disorders. Methods We conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 29,782 suicide attempt (SA) cases and 519,961 controls in the International Suicide Genetics Consortium (ISGC). The GWAS of SA was conditioned on psychiatric disorders using GWAS summary statistics via multitrait-based conditional and joint analysis, to remove genetic effects on SA mediated by psychiatric disorders. We investigated the shared and divergent genetic architectures of SA, psychiatric disorders, and other known risk factors. Results Two loci reached genome-wide significance for SA: the major histocompatibility complex and an intergenic locus on chromosome 7, the latter of which remained associated with SA after conditioning on psychiatric disorders and replicated in an independent cohort from the Million Veteran Program. This locus has been implicated in risk-taking behavior, smoking, and insomnia. SA showed strong genetic correlation with psychiatric disorders, particularly major depression, and also with smoking, pain, risk-taking behavior, sleep disturbances, lower educational attainment, reproductive traits, lower socioeconomic status, and poorer general health. After conditioning on psychiatric disorders, the genetic correlations between SA and psychiatric disorders decreased, whereas those with nonpsychiatric traits remained largely unchanged. Conclusions Our results identify a risk locus that contributes more strongly to SA than other phenotypes and suggest a shared underlying biology between SA and known risk factors that is not mediated by psychiatric disorders.Peer reviewe

    Genomic Relationships, Novel Loci, and Pleiotropic Mechanisms across Eight Psychiatric Disorders

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    Genetic influences on psychiatric disorders transcend diagnostic boundaries, suggesting substantial pleiotropy of contributing loci. However, the nature and mechanisms of these pleiotropic effects remain unclear. We performed analyses of 232,964 cases and 494,162 controls from genome-wide studies of anorexia nervosa, attention-deficit/hyper-activity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, and Tourette syndrome. Genetic correlation analyses revealed a meaningful structure within the eight disorders, identifying three groups of inter-related disorders. Meta-analysis across these eight disorders detected 109 loci associated with at least two psychiatric disorders, including 23 loci with pleiotropic effects on four or more disorders and 11 loci with antagonistic effects on multiple disorders. The pleiotropic loci are located within genes that show heightened expression in the brain throughout the lifespan, beginning prenatally in the second trimester, and play prominent roles in neurodevelopmental processes. These findings have important implications for psychiatric nosology, drug development, and risk prediction.Peer reviewe

    Bipolar multiplex families have an increased burden of common risk variants for psychiatric disorders.

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    Multiplex families with a high prevalence of a psychiatric disorder are often examined to identify rare genetic variants with large effect sizes. In the present study, we analysed whether the risk for bipolar disorder (BD) in BD multiplex families is influenced by common genetic variants. Furthermore, we investigated whether this risk is conferred mainly by BD-specific risk variants or by variants also associated with the susceptibility to schizophrenia or major depression. In total, 395 individuals from 33 Andalusian BD multiplex families (166 BD, 78 major depressive disorder, 151 unaffected) as well as 438 subjects from an independent, BD case/control cohort (161 unrelated BD, 277 unrelated controls) were analysed. Polygenic risk scores (PRS) for BD, schizophrenia (SCZ), and major depression were calculated and compared between the cohorts. Both the familial BD cases and unaffected family members had higher PRS for all three psychiatric disorders than the independent controls, with BD and SCZ being significant after correction for multiple testing, suggesting a high baseline risk for several psychiatric disorders in the families. Moreover, familial BD cases showed significantly higher BD PRS than unaffected family members and unrelated BD cases. A plausible hypothesis is that, in multiplex families with a general increase in risk for psychiatric disease, BD development is attributable to a high burden of common variants that confer a specific risk for BD. The present analyses demonstrated that common genetic risk variants for psychiatric disorders are likely to contribute to the high incidence of affective psychiatric disorders in the multiplex families. However, the PRS explained only part of the observed phenotypic variance, and rare variants might have also contributed to disease development

    The genetics of the mood disorder spectrum:genome-wide association analyses of over 185,000 cases and 439,000 controls

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    Background Mood disorders (including major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder) affect 10-20% of the population. They range from brief, mild episodes to severe, incapacitating conditions that markedly impact lives. Despite their diagnostic distinction, multiple approaches have shown considerable sharing of risk factors across the mood disorders. Methods To clarify their shared molecular genetic basis, and to highlight disorder-specific associations, we meta-analysed data from the latest Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) genome-wide association studies of major depression (including data from 23andMe) and bipolar disorder, and an additional major depressive disorder cohort from UK Biobank (total: 185,285 cases, 439,741 controls; non-overlapping N = 609,424). Results Seventy-three loci reached genome-wide significance in the meta-analysis, including 15 that are novel for mood disorders. More genome-wide significant loci from the PGC analysis of major depression than bipolar disorder reached genome-wide significance. Genetic correlations revealed that type 2 bipolar disorder correlates strongly with recurrent and single episode major depressive disorder. Systems biology analyses highlight both similarities and differences between the mood disorders, particularly in the mouse brain cell-types implicated by the expression patterns of associated genes. The mood disorders also differ in their genetic correlation with educational attainment – positive in bipolar disorder but negative in major depressive disorder. Conclusions The mood disorders share several genetic associations, and can be combined effectively to increase variant discovery. However, we demonstrate several differences between these disorders. Analysing subtypes of major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder provides evidence for a genetic mood disorders spectrum

    Genetic Overlap Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Bipolar Disorder Implicates the MARK2 and VAC14 Genes