[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Despite substantial similarities and overlaps in the pathophysiology of obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD) and autism spectrum disorders, little is known about the clinical and etiologic cohesion of these two disorders. We therefore aimed to determine the patterns of comorbidity, longitudinal risks, and shared familial risks between these disorders.
In a prospective study design we explored the effect of a prior diagnosis of OCD in patients and parents on the susceptibility to autism spectrum disorders and vice versa. Analyses were adjusted for sex, age, calendar year, parental age and place at residence at time of birth. As measures of relative risk incidence rate ratios (IRR) and accompanying 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were employed.
The risk of a comorbid diagnosis of OCD in individuals with autism spectrum disorder and aggregation of autism spectrum disorders in offspring of parents with OCD were increased. Individuals first diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders had a 2-fold higher risk of a later diagnosis of OCD (IRR = 2.18, 95% CI = 1.91–2.48), whereas individuals diagnosed with OCD displayed a nearly 4-fold higher risk to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (IRR = 3.91, 95% CI = 3.46–4.40) later in life. The observed associations were somewhat stronger for less severe types of autism spectrum disorders without a comorbid diagnosis of mental disabilities.
The high comorbidity, sequential risk, and shared familial risks between OCD and autism spectrum disorders are suggestive of partially shared etiological mechanisms. The results have implications for current gene-searching efforts and for clinical practice.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genomic risk profile scores (GRPSs) have been shown to predict case-control status of schizophrenia (SCZ), albeit with varying sensitivity and specificity. The extent to which this variability in prediction accuracy is related to differences in sampling strategies is unknown. Danish population-based registers and Neonatal Biobanks were used to identify two independent incident data sets (denoted target and replication) comprising together 1861 cases with SCZ and 1706 controls. A third data set was a German prevalent sample with diagnoses assigned to 1773 SCZ cases and 2161 controls based on clinical interviews. GRPSs were calculated based on the genome-wide association results from the largest SCZ meta-analysis yet conducted. As measures of genetic risk prediction, Nagelkerke pseudo-R(2) and variance explained on the liability scale were calculated. GRPS for SCZ showed positive correlations with the number of psychiatric admissions across all P-value thresholds in both the incident and prevalent samples. In permutation-based test, Nagelkerke pseudo-R(2) values derived from samples enriched for frequently admitted cases were found to be significantly higher than for the full data sets (Ptarget=0.017, Preplication=0.04). Oversampling of frequently admitted cases further resulted in a higher proportion of variance explained on the liability scale (improvementtarget= 50%; improvementreplication= 162%). GRPSs are significantly correlated with chronicity of SCZ. Oversampling of cases with a high number of admissions significantly increased the amount of variance in liability explained by GRPS. This suggests that at least part of the effect of common single-nucleotide polymorphisms is on the deteriorative course of illness.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 1 September 2015; doi:10.1038/mp.2015.130.
No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Molecular Psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Depression and anxiety disorders are highly comorbid conditions and a worldwide disease burden; however, large-scale studies delineating their association are scarce. In this retrospective study, we aimed to assess the effect of severe anxiety disorders on the risk and course of depression. Methods: We did a population-based cohort study with prospectively gathered data in Denmark using data from three Danish population registers: The Danish Civil Registration System, the Danish Psychiatric Central Register, and the Danish National Hospital Registry. We selected the cohort from people born in Denmark between Jan 1, 1955, and Dec 31, 2002, who we followed up from Jan 1, 1994, to Dec 31, 2012. The cohort was restricted to individuals with known parents. First, we investigated the effect of specific anxiety diagnoses on risk of single depressive episodes and recurrent depressive disorder. Second, we investigated the effect of comorbid anxiety on risk of readmission for depression, adjusting for sex, age, calendar year, parental age, place at residence at time of birth, and the interaction of age with sex. Findings: We included 3 380 059 individuals in our study cohort. The adjusted incidence rate ratio (IRR) for single depressive episodes was 3·0 (95% CI 2·8-3·1, p<0·0001) and for recurrent depressive disorder was 5·0 (4·8-5·2) in patients with severe anxiety disorders compared with the general population. Compared with control individuals, the offspring of parents with anxiety disorders were more likely to be diagnosed with single depressive episodes (1·9, 1·8-2·0) or recurrent depressive disorder (2·1, 1·9-2·2). Comorbid anxiety increased the readmission rates in both patients with single depressive episodes and patients with recurrent depressive disorder. Interpretation: Severe anxiety constitutes a significant risk factor for depression. Focusing on specific anxiety disorders might help to identify individuals at risk of depression, thereby providing new insights for prevention and treatment. Funding: The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research (iPSYCH).
No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · The Lancet Psychiatry
[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: Importance
Despite a remarkable co-occurrence of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and schizophrenia, little is known about the clinical and etiological relationship of these 2 disorders. Exploring the degree to which these disorders share etiological factors might provide useful implications for clinicians, researchers, and those with the disorders.Objectives
To assess whether patients with OCD experience an enhanced risk of developing schizophrenia and schizophrenia spectrum disorders and to determine whether a family history of OCD constitutes a risk factor for schizophrenia and schizophrenia spectrum disorders.Design, Setting, and Participants
Using individual data from longitudinal nationwide Danish registers, we conducted a prospective cohort study with 45 million person-years of follow-up. All survival analyses were adjusted for sex, age, calendar year, parental age, and place of residence at the time of birth. A total of 3 million people born between January 1, 1955, and November 30, 2006, were followed up from January 1, 1995, through December 31, 2012. During this period, 30 556 people developed schizophrenia or schizophrenia spectrum disorders.Main Outcomes and Measures
The presence of a prior diagnosis of OCD and the risk of a first lifetime diagnosis of schizophrenia and a schizophrenia spectrum disorder assigned by a psychiatrist in a hospital, outpatient clinic, or emergency department setting. Incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and accompanying 95% confidence intervals are used as measures of relative risk.Results
The presence of prior diagnosis of OCD was associated with an increased risk of developing schizophrenia (IRR = 6.90; 95% CI, 6.25-7.60) and schizophrenia spectrum disorders (IRR = 5.77; 95% CI, 5.33-6.22) later in life. Similarly, offspring of parents diagnosed as having OCD had an increased risk of schizophrenia (IRR = 4.31; 95% CI, 2.72-6.43) and schizophrenia spectrum disorders (IRR = 3.10; 95% CI, 2.17-4.27). The results remained significant after adjusting for family history of psychiatric disorders and the patient’s psychiatric history.Conclusions and Relevance
A diagnosis of OCD was associated with higher rates of schizophrenia and schizophrenia spectrum disorders. The observed increase in risk suggests that OCD, schizophrenia, and schizophrenia spectrum disorders probably lay on a common etiological pathway.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Early life stress (ELS) is associated with increased vulnerability for diseases in later life, including psychiatric disorders. Animal models and human studies suggest that this effect is mediated by epigenetic mechanisms. In humans, epigenetic studies to investigate the influence of ELS on psychiatric phenotypes are limited by the inaccessibility of living brain tissue. Due to the tissue-specific nature of epigenetic signatures, it is impossible to determine whether ELS induced epigenetic changes in accessible peripheral cells, for example, blood lymphocytes, reflect epigenetic changes in the brain. To overcome these limitations, we applied a cross-species approach involving: (i) the analysis of CD34+ cells from human cord blood; (ii) the examination of blood-derived CD3+ T cells of newborn and adolescent nonhuman primates (Macaca mulatta); and (iii) the investigation of the prefrontal cortex of adult rats. Several regions in MORC1 (MORC family CW-type zinc finger 1; previously known as: microrchidia (mouse) homolog) were differentially methylated in response to ELS in CD34+ cells and CD3+ T cells derived from the blood of human and monkey neonates, as well as in CD3+ T cells derived from the blood of adolescent monkeys and in the prefrontal cortex of adult rats. MORC1 is thus the first identified epigenetic marker of ELS to be present in blood cell progenitors at birth and in the brain in adulthood. Interestingly, a gene-set-based analysis of data from a genome-wide association study of major depressive disorder (MDD) revealed an association of MORC1 with MDD.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Translational Psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bipolar disorder (BD) is a highly heritable psychiatric disease characterized by recurrent episodes of mania and depression. To identify new BD genes and pathways, the present study employed a three-step approach. First, gene-expression profiles of BD patients were assessed during both a manic and an euthymic phase. These profiles were compared intra-individually and with the gene-expression profiles of controls. Second, those differentially expressed genes that were considered potential trait markers of BD were validated using data from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortiums' genome-wide association study (GWAS) of BD. Third, the implicated molecular mechanisms were investigated using pathway analytical methods. In the present patients, this novel approach identified: (i) sets of differentially expressed genes specific to mania and euthymia; and (ii) a set of differentially expressed genes that were common to both mood states. In the GWAS data integration analysis, one gene (STAB1) remained significant (P=1.9 × 10(-4)) after adjustment for multiple testing. STAB1 is located in close proximity to PBMR1 and the NEK4-ITIH1-ITIH3-ITIH4 region, which are the top findings from GWAS meta-analyses of mood disorder, and a combined BD and schizophrenia data set. Pathway analyses in the mania versus control comparison revealed three distinct clusters of pathways tagging molecular mechanisms implicated in BD, for example, energy metabolism, inflammation and the ubiquitin proteasome system. The present findings suggest that STAB1 is a new and highly promising candidate gene in this region. The combining of gene expression and GWAS data may provide valuable insights into the biological mechanisms of BD.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Translational Psychiatry
[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: Bipolar disorder is a severe disorder of mood with a lifetime prevalence of about 1%. The disease is characterized by recurrent episodes of mania and depression and shows a high heritability of about 70%. Molecular genetic candidate and lately genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified a number of susceptibility genes contributing to the etiology of bipolar disorder. However, the disease relevant pathways and regulatory networks are still largely unknown. microRNAs are a class of 21-25-nucleotide small non-coding RNAs. They control the expression of their target genes by binding to target sites in messenger RNAs (mRNAs). Each microRNA usually controls up to several hundred target mRNAs, while one mRNA target can be synergistically regulated by multiple microRNAs. This allows microRNAs to integrate different intracellular signals and to regulate various signalling pathways. Accumulating evidence suggests that microRNAs contribute to the basic mechanisms underlying brain development and synaptic plasticity. This in turn suggests their possible involvement in the pathogenesis of various psychiatric disorders, including bipolar disorder.
The aim of the present study was to systematically investigate whether common variants at all known microRNA loci listed in the miRBase database (release 13.0) contribute to the development of bipolar dis¬order. For this purpose we performed gene-based analyses for all microRNAs and +/- 20kb flanking sequences using VEGAS on the largest existing GWAS dataset of bipolar disorder comprising of 9,747 patients and 14,278 controls (Mühleisen et al., 2013). In this dataset we combined our data obtained from four European countries, Canada, and Australia with the results of the large bipolar disorder GWAS by the multinational Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (Sklar et al., 2011). Our analysis revealed that 98 of the 609 microRNAs showed nominally significant p values. The observed number of microRNAs with a p value of < 0.05 was significantly higher than expected (i.e. n=30, p=0.006), indicating that bipolar disorder-associated microRNAs are enriched within the known microRNA loci. After correction for multiple testing, nine microRNAs showed a significant association with bipolar disorder (let-7g, miR-135a, miR-499, miR-581, miR-611, miR-640, miR-644, miR-708, miR-1908). These included microRNAs known to be involved in neural development, neuronal differentiation and synaptic plasticity. The investigation of the affected target genes and the underlying regulatory networks is currently underway and will be presented. Preliminary data provide evidence for an involvement of at least two microRNA-regulated networks in the development of bipolar disorder.
No preview · Article · Mar 2014 · Medizinische Genetik
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recently, genome-wide association between schizophrenia and an intronic variant in AMBRA1 (rs11819869) was reported. Additionally, in a reverse genetic approach in adult healthy subjects, risk allele carriers showed a higher medial prefrontal cortex blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) response during a flanker task examining motor inhibition as an aspect of impulsivity. To test whether this finding can be expanded to further aspects of impulsivity, we analysed the effects of the rs11819869 genotype on impulsivity-related traits on a behavioral, temperament and neural level in a large sample of healthy adolescents. We consider this reverse genetic approach specifically suited for use in a healthy adolescent sample, as these individuals comprise those who will eventually develop mental disorders in which impulsivity is implicated. Healthy adolescents from the IMAGEN study were included in the neuropsychological analysis (n = 848) and a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) task (n = 512). Various aspects of impulsivity were assessed using the Temperament and Character Inventory-Revised, the Substance Use Risk Profile Scale, the Cambridge Cognition Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery, and the Stop Signal Task (SST) in the fMRI paradigm. On a behavioral level, increased delay aversion was observed in risk allele carriers. Furthermore, risk allele carriers showed a higher BOLD response in an orbito-frontal target region during the SST, which declined to trend status after Family Wise Error correction. Our findings support the hypothesis that the schizophrenia-related risk variant of rs11819869 is involved in various aspects of impulsivity, and that this involvement occurs on a behavioral as well as an imaging genetics level.
No preview · Article · Apr 2013 · European Journal of Neuroscience
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Research suggests that clinical symptom dimensions may be more useful in delineating the genetics of bipolar disorder (BD) than standard diagnostic models. To date, no study has applied this concept to data from genome-wide association studies (GWAS). We performed a GWAS of factor dimensions in 927 clinically well-characterized BD patients of German ancestry. Rs9875793, which is located in an intergenic region of 3q26.1 and in the vicinity of the solute carrier family 2 (facilitated glucose transporter), member 2 gene (SLC2A2), was significantly associated with the factor analysis-derived dimension 'negative mood delusions' (n=927; P=4.65 × 10(-8), odds ratio (OR)=2.66). This dimension was comprised of the symptoms delusions of poverty, delusions of guilt and nihilistic delusions. In case-control analyses, significant association with the G allele of rs9875793 was only observed in the subgroup of BD patients who displayed symptoms of 'negative mood delusions' (allelic χ(2) model: P(G)=0.0001, OR=1.92; item present, n=89). Further support for the hypothesis that rs9875793 is associated with BD in patients displaying 'negative mood delusions' symptom, such as delusions of guilt, was obtained from an European American sample (GAIN/TGEN), which included 1247 BD patients and 1434 controls (P(EA)=0.028, OR=1.27).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
Genome-wide association has been reported between the NCAN gene and bipolar disorder. The aims of this study were to characterize the clinical symptomatology most strongly influenced by NCAN and to explore the behavioral phenotype of Ncan knockout (Ncan(-/-)) mice.
Genotype/phenotype correlations were investigated in patients with bipolar disorder (N=641) and the genetically related disorders major depression (N=597) and schizophrenia (N=480). Principal components and genotype association analyses were used to derive main clinical factors from 69 lifetime symptoms and to determine which of these factors were associated with the NCAN risk allele. These analyses were then repeated using the associated factor(s) only in order to identify the more specific clinical subdimensions that drive the association. Ncan(-/-) mice were tested using diverse paradigms, assessing a range of behavioral traits, including paradigms corresponding to bipolar symptoms in humans.
In the combined patient sample, the NCAN risk allele was significantly associated with the "mania" factor, in particular the subdimension "overactivity." Ncan(-/-) mice were hyperactive and showed more frequent risk-taking and repetitive behaviors, less depression-like conduct, impaired prepulse inhibition, amphetamine hypersensitivity, and increased saccharin preference. These aberrant behavioral responses normalized after the administration of lithium.
NCAN preferentially affected mania symptoms in humans. Ncan(-/-) mice showed behavioral abnormalities that were strikingly similar to those of the human mania phenotype and may thus serve as a valid mouse model.
Preview · Article · Sep 2012 · American Journal of Psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genome-wide association studies have reported an association between the A-allele of rs1006737 within CACNA1C and affective disorders and schizophrenia. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between rs1006737 and established and potential endophenotypes for these disorders in a population-based cohort of 3793 subjects, using an analytical method designed to assess a previously reported sex-specific effect of CACNA1C. The investigated endophenotypes included personality traits and resilience factors. At 10-year follow-up, subjects were screened for depressive symptoms. All subjects were genotyped for rs1006737. The direction of the effect and mode of inheritance of rs1006737 differed between the sexes. In men, the A-allele was associated with higher emotional lability and lower resilience, that is, lower sense of coherence (P=0.021), lower perceived social support (P=0.018), lower dispositional optimism (P=0.032) and more depressive symptoms at follow-up (P=0.007). In women, the A-allele was associated with lower emotional lability and stronger resilience, that is, higher sense of coherence (P=0.00028), higher perceived social support (P=0.010), lower neuroticism (P=0.022) and fewer depressive symptoms at follow-up (P=0.035). After conservative Bonferroni correction for 32 tests, results only remained significant for sense of coherence in women (P=0.009). These results suggest that CACNA1C is involved in the genetic architecture of endophenotypes for affective disorders and schizophrenia, and that it shows a distinct sex-specific effect. Comprehensive phenotype characterization in case-control samples and the general population, as well as an adequate modeling of sex-specific genetic effects, may be warranted to elucidate the pathogenetic mechanisms conferred by robustly identified susceptibility genes.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 5 June 2012; doi:10.1038/mp.2012.53.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · Molecular Psychiatry