[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Converging evidence implicates immune abnormalities in schizophrenia (SCZ), and recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified immune-related single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with SCZ. Using the conditional false discovery rate (FDR) approach, we evaluated pleiotropy in SNPs associated with SCZ (n=21 856) and multiple sclerosis (MS) (n=43 879), an inflammatory, demyelinating disease of the central nervous system. Because SCZ and bipolar disorder (BD) show substantial clinical and genetic overlap, we also investigated pleiotropy between BD (n=16 731) and MS. We found significant genetic overlap between SCZ and MS and identified 21 independent loci associated with SCZ, conditioned on association with MS. This enrichment was driven by the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Importantly, we detected the involvement of the same human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles in both SCZ and MS, but with an opposite directionality of effect of associated HLA alleles (that is, MS risk alleles were associated with decreased SCZ risk). In contrast, we found no genetic overlap between BD and MS. Considered together, our findings demonstrate genetic pleiotropy between SCZ and MS and suggest that the MHC signals may differentiate SCZ from BD susceptibility.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Molecular Psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
The genetic architecture of ADHD is complex, with rare and common variants involved. Common genetic variants (as indexed by a composite risk score) associated with clinical ADHD significantly predict ADHD and autistic-like behavioural traits in children from the general population, suggesting that ADHD lies at the extreme of normal trait variation. ADHD and other neurodevelopmental disorders share neurocognitive difficulties in several domains (e.g. impaired cognitive ability and executive functions). We hypothesised that ADHD composite genetic risk scores derived from clinical ADHD cases would also contribute to variation in neurocognitive abilities in the general population.Methods
Children (N = 6,832) from a UK population cohort, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), underwent neurocognitive testing. Parent-reported measures of their children's ADHD and autistic-like traits were used to construct a behavioural latent variable of ‘neurodevelopmental traits’. Composite genetic risk scores for ADHD were calculated for ALSPAC children based on findings from an independent ADHD case–control genome-wide association study. Structural equation modelling was used to assess associations between ADHD composite genetic risk scores and IQ, working memory, inhibitory control and facial emotion recognition, as well as the latent ‘neurodevelopmental trait’ measure.ResultsThe results confirmed that neurocognitive and neurodevelopmental traits are correlated in children in the general population. Composite genetic risk scores for ADHD were independently associated with lower IQ (β = −.05, p < .001) and working memory performance (β = −.034, p = .013), even after accounting for the relationship with latent neurodevelopmental behavioural trait scores. No associations were found between composite genetic risk scores and inhibitory control or emotion recognition (p > .05).Conclusions
These findings suggest that common genetic variants relevant to clinically diagnosed ADHD have pleiotropic effects on neurocognitive traits as well as behavioural dimensions in the general population. This further suggests that the well-recognised association between cognition and neurodevelopmental behavioural traits is underpinned at a biological level.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bipolar disorder is one of the most common and devastating psychiatric disorders whose mechanisms remain largely unknown. Despite a strong genetic contribution demonstrated by twin and adoption studies, a polygenic background influences this multifactorial and heterogeneous psychiatric disorder. To identify susceptibility genes on a severe and more familial sub-form of the disease, we conducted a genome-wide association study focused on 211 patients of French origin with an early age at onset and 1,719 controls, and then replicated our data on a German sample of 159 patients with early-onset bipolar disorder and 998 controls. Replication study and subsequent meta-analysis revealed two genes encoding proteins involved in phosphoinositide signalling pathway (PLEKHA5 and PLCXD3). We performed additional replication studies in two datasets from the WTCCC (764 patients and 2,938 controls) and the GAIN-TGen cohorts (1,524 patients and 1,436 controls) and found nominal P-values both in the PLCXD3 and PLEKHA5 loci with the WTCCC sample. In addition, we identified in the French cohort one affected individual with a deletion at the PLCXD3 locus and another one carrying a missense variation in PLCXD3 (p.R93H), both supporting a role of the phosphatidylinositol pathway in early-onset bipolar disorder vulnerability. Although the current nominally significant findings should be interpreted with caution and need replication in independent cohorts, this study supports the strategy to combine genetic approaches to determine the molecular mechanisms underlying bipolar disorder.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia is a highly heritable disorder. Genetic risk is conferred by a large number of alleles, including common alleles of small effect that might be detected by genome-wide association studies. Here we report a multi-stage schizophrenia genome-wide association study of up to 36,989 cases and 113,075 controls. We identify 128 independent associations spanning 108 conservatively defined loci that meet genome-wide significance, 83 of which have not been previously reported. Associations were enriched among genes expressed in brain, providing biological plausibility for the findings. Many findings have the potential to provide entirely new insights into aetiology, but associations at DRD2 and several genes involved in glutamatergic neurotransmission highlight molecules of known and potential therapeutic relevance to schizophrenia, and are consistent with leading pathophysiological hypotheses. Independent of genes expressed in brain, associations were enriched among genes expressed in tissues that have important roles in immunity, providing support for the speculated link between the immune system and schizophrenia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often co-occur and share genetic risks. The aim of this analysis was to determine more broadly whether ADHD and ASD share biological underpinnings.
We compared copy number variant (CNV) data from 727 children with ADHD and 5,081 population controls to data from 996 individuals with ASD and an independent set of 1,287 controls. Using pathway analyses, we investigated whether CNVs observed in individuals with ADHD have an impact on genes in the same biological pathways as on those observed in individuals with ASD.
The results suggest that the biological pathways impacted by CNVs in ADHD overlap with those impacted by CNVs in ASD more than would be expected by chance. Moreover, this was true even when specific CNV regions common to both disorders were excluded from the analysis. After correction for multiple testing, genes involved in three biological processes (“nicotinic acetylcholine receptor signalling pathway,” “cell division,” and “response to drug”) showed significant enrichment for case CNV hits in the combined ADHD and ASD sample.
The results of this study indicate the presence of significant overlap of shared biological processes disrupted by large, rare CNVs in children with these two neurodevelopmental conditions.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE We investigated the variation in neuropsychological function explained by risk alleles at the psychosis susceptibility gene ZNF804A and its interacting partners using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), polygenic scores, and epistatic analyses. Of particular importance was the relative contribution of the polygenic score vs epistasis in variation explained. OBJECTIVES To (1) assess the association between SNPs in ZNF804A and the ZNF804A polygenic score with measures of cognition in cases with psychosis and (2) assess whether epistasis within the ZNF804A pathway could explain additional variation above and beyond that explained by the polygenic score. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Patients with psychosis (n = 424) were assessed in areas of cognitive ability impaired in schizophrenia including IQ, memory, attention, and social cognition. We used the Psychiatric GWAS Consortium 1 schizophrenia genome-wide association study to calculate a polygenic score based on identified risk variants within this genetic pathway. Cognitive measures significantly associated with the polygenic score were tested for an epistatic component using a training set (n = 170), which was used to develop linear regression models containing the polygenic score and 2-SNP interactions. The best-fitting models were tested for replication in 2 independent test sets of cases: (1) 170 individuals with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and (2) 84 patients with broad psychosis (including bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and other psychosis). MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Participants completed a neuropsychological assessment battery designed to target the cognitive deficits of schizophrenia including general cognitive function, episodic memory, working memory, attentional control, and social cognition. RESULTS Higher polygenic scores were associated with poorer performance among patients on IQ, memory, and social cognition, explaining 1% to 3% of variation on these scores (range, P = .01 to .03). Using a narrow psychosis training set and independent test sets of narrow phenotype psychosis (schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder), broad psychosis, and control participants (n = 89), the addition of 2 interaction terms containing 2 SNPs each increased the R2 for spatial working memory strategy in the independent psychosis test sets from 1.2% using the polygenic score only to 4.8% (P = .11 and .001, respectively) but did not explain additional variation in control participants. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE These data support a role for the ZNF804A pathway in IQ, memory, and social cognition in cases. Furthermore, we showed that epistasis increases the variation explained above the contribution of the polygenic score.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be viewed as the extreme end of traits in the general population. Epidemiological and twin studies suggest that ADHD frequently co-occurs with and shares genetic susceptibility with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and ASD-related traits. The aims of this study were to determine whether a composite of common molecular genetic variants, previously found to be associated with clinically diagnosed ADHD, predicts ADHD and ASD-related traits in the general population.
Polygenic risk scores were calculated in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) population sample (N = 8229) based on a discovery case-control genome-wide association study of childhood ADHD. Regression analyses were used to assess whether polygenic scores predicted ADHD traits and ASD-related measures (pragmatic language abilities and social cognition) in the ALSPAC sample. Polygenic scores were also compared in boys and girls endorsing any (rating ≥1) ADHD item (n = 3623).
Polygenic risk for ADHD showed a positive association with ADHD traits (hyperactive-impulsive, p = .0039; inattentive, p = .037). Polygenic risk for ADHD was also negatively associated with pragmatic language abilities (p = .037) but not with social cognition (p = .43). In children with a rating ≥1 for ADHD traits, girls had a higher polygenic score than boys (p = .003).
These findings provide molecular genetic evidence that risk alleles for the categorical disorder of ADHD influence hyperactive-impulsive and attentional traits in the general population. The results further suggest that common genetic variation that contributes to ADHD diagnosis may also influence ASD-related traits, which at their extreme are a characteristic feature of ASD.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · Biological psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common and complex neurodegenerative disease in the elderly individuals. Recently, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been used to investigate AD pathogenesis. These GWAS have yielded important new insights into the genetic mechanisms of AD. However, these newly identified AD susceptibility loci exert only very small risk effects and cannot fully explain the underlying AD genetic risk. We hypothesize that combining the findings from different AD GWAS may have greater power than genetic analysis alone. To identify new AD risk factors, we integrated findings from 3 previous large-scale AD GWAS (n = 14,138) using a gene-based meta-analysis and subsequently conducted a pathway analysis using the kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes and gene ontology databases. Interestingly, we not only confirmed previous findings, but also highlighted, for the first time, the involvement of cardiovascular disease-related pathways in AD. Our results provided the clues as to the link between these diseases using pathway analysis methods. We believe that these findings will be very useful for future genetic studies of AD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Psychotic experiences are not uncommon in general population samples, but no studies have examined to what extent confirmed risk variants for schizophrenia are associated with such experiences. A total of 3483 children in a birth cohort study participated in semistructured interviews for psychotic experiences at ages 12 and 18. We examined whether (1) a composite measure of risk for schizophrenia conferred by common alleles (polygenic score) was associated with psychotic experiences, (2) variants with genome-wide evidence for association with schizophrenia were associated with psychotic experiences, and (3) we could identify genetic variants for psychotic experiences using a genome-wide association (GWA) approach. We found no evidence that a schizophrenia polygenic score, or variants showing genome-wide evidence of association with schizophrenia, were associated with adolescent psychotic experiences within the general population. In fact, individuals who had a higher number of risk alleles for genome-wide hits for schizophrenia showed a decreased risk of psychotic experiences. In the GWA study, no variants showed GWA for psychotic experiences, and there was no evidence that the strongest hits (P < 5 × 10(-5)) were enriched for variants associated with schizophrenia in large consortia. Although polygenic scores are weak tools for prediction of schizophrenia, they show strong evidence of association with this disorder. Our findings, however, lend little support to the hypothesis that psychotic experiences in population-based samples of adolescents share a comparable genetic architecture to schizophrenia, or that utilizing a broader and more common phenotype of psychotic experiences will be an efficient approach to increase understanding of the genetic etiology of schizophrenia.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Schizophrenia Bulletin
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia is an idiopathic mental disorder with a heritable component and a substantial public health impact. We conducted a multi-stage genome-wide association study (GWAS) for schizophrenia beginning with a Swedish national sample (5,001 cases and 6,243 controls) followed by meta-analysis with previous schizophrenia GWAS (8,832 cases and 12,067 controls) and finally by replication of SNPs in 168 genomic regions in independent samples (7,413 cases, 19,762 controls and 581 parent-offspring trios). We identified 22 loci associated at genome-wide significance; 13 of these are new, and 1 was previously implicated in bipolar disorder. Examination of candidate genes at these loci suggests the involvement of neuronal calcium signaling. We estimate that 8,300 independent, mostly common SNPs (95% credible interval of 6,300-10,200 SNPs) contribute to risk for schizophrenia and that these collectively account for at least 32% of the variance in liability. Common genetic variation has an important role in the etiology of schizophrenia, and larger studies will allow more detailed understanding of this disorder.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most psychiatric disorders are moderately to highly heritable. The degree to which genetic variation is unique to individual disorders or shared across disorders is unclear. To examine shared genetic etiology, we use genome-wide genotype data from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) for cases and controls in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We apply univariate and bivariate methods for the estimation of genetic variation within and covariation between disorders. SNPs explained 17–29% of the variance in liability. The genetic correlation calculated using common SNPs was high between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (0.68 ± 0.04 s.e.), moderate between schizophrenia and major depressive disorder (0.43 ± 0.06 s.e.), bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder (0.47 ± 0.06 s.e.), and ADHD and major depressive disorder (0.32 ± 0.07 s.e.), low between schizophrenia and ASD (0.16 ± 0.06 s.e.) and non-significant for other pairs of disorders as well as between psychiatric disorders and the negative control of Crohn’s disease. This empirical evidence of shared genetic etiology for psychiatric disorders can inform nosology and encourages the investigation of common pathophysiologies for related disorders.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often co-occur. Factor analyses of ASD traits in children with and without ASD indicate the presence of social and restrictive-repetitive behaviour (RRB) factors. This study used exploratory factor analyses to determine the structure of ASD traits (assessed using the Social Communication Questionnaire) in children with ADHD. Distinct factors were observed for 'social' and 'rigidity' traits, corresponding to previous factor analyses in clinical ASD and population samples. This indicates that the split between social-communicative and RRB dimensions is unaffected by ADHD in children. Moreover, the study also finds that there is some overlap across hyperactive-impulsive symptoms and RRB traits in children with ADHD, which merits further investigation.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We undertook a two-stage genome-wide association study (GWAS) of Alzheimer's disease (AD) involving over 16,000 individuals, the most powerful AD GWAS to date. In stage 1 (3,941 cases and 7,848 controls), we replicated the established association with the apolipoprotein E (APOE) locus (most significant SNP, rs2075650, P = 1.8 × 10−157) and observed genome-wide significant association with SNPs at two loci not previously associated with the disease: at the CLU (also known as APOJ) gene (rs11136000, P = 1.4 × 10−9) and 5′ to the PICALM gene (rs3851179, P = 1.9 × 10−8). These associations were replicated in stage 2 (2,023 cases and 2,340 controls), producing compelling evidence for association with Alzheimer's disease in the combined dataset (rs11136000, P = 8.5 × 10−10, odds ratio = 0.86; rs3851179, P = 1.3 × 10−9, odds ratio = 0.86).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: There is recent evidence of some degree of shared genetic susceptibility between adult schizophrenia and childhood attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) for rare chromosomal variants. AIMS: To determine whether there is overlap between common alleles conferring risk of schizophrenia in adults with those that do so for ADHD in children. METHOD: We used recently published Psychiatric Genome-wide Association Study (GWAS) Consortium (PGC) adult schizophrenia data to define alleles over-represented in people with schizophrenia and tested whether those alleles were more common in 727 children with ADHD than in 2067 controls. RESULTS: Schizophrenia risk alleles discriminated ADHD cases from controls (P = 1.04 × 10(-4), R(2) = 0.45%); stronger discrimination was given by alleles that were risk alleles for both adult schizophrenia and adult bipolar disorder (also derived from a PGC data-set) (P = 9.98 × 10(-6), R(2) = 0.59%). CONCLUSIONS: This increasing evidence for a small, but significant, shared genetic susceptibility between adult schizophrenia and childhood ADHD highlights the importance of research work across traditional diagnostic boundaries.
Full-text · Article · May 2013 · The British journal of psychiatry: the journal of mental science