Psychiatry - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 1567
Cerebral small vessel disease genomics and its implications across the lifespan
(NATURE RESEARCH, 2020-12-08)
White matter hyperintensities (WMH) are the most common brain-imaging feature of cerebral small vessel disease (SVD), hypertension being the main known risk factor. Here, we identify 27 genome-wide loci for WMH-volume in a cohort of 50,970 older individuals, accounting for modification/confounding by hypertension. Aggregated WMH risk variants were associated with altered white matter integrity (p = 2.5×10-7) in brain images from 1,738 young healthy adults, providing insight into the lifetime impact of SVD genetic risk. Mendelian randomization suggested causal association of increasing WMH-volume with stroke, Alzheimer-type dementia, and of increasing blood pressure (BP) with larger WMH-volume, notably also in persons without clinical hypertension. Transcriptome-wide colocalization analyses showed association of WMH-volume with expression of 39 genes, of which four encode known drug targets. Finally, we provide insight into BP-independent biological pathways underlying SVD and suggest potential for genetic stratification of high-risk individuals and for genetically-informed prioritization of drug targets for prevention trials.
A polygenic resilience score moderates the genetic risk for schizophrenia
Based on the discovery by the Resilience Project (Chen R. et al. Nat Biotechnol 34:531-538, 2016) of rare variants that confer resistance to Mendelian disease, and protective alleles for some complex diseases, we posited the existence of genetic variants that promote resilience to highly heritable polygenic disorders1,0 such as schizophrenia. Resilience has been traditionally viewed as a psychological construct, although our use of the term resilience refers to a different construct that directly relates to the Resilience Project, namely: heritable variation that promotes resistance to disease by reducing the penetrance of risk loci, wherein resilience and risk loci operate orthogonal to one another. In this study, we established a procedure to identify unaffected individuals with relatively high polygenic risk for schizophrenia, and contrasted them with risk-matched schizophrenia cases to generate the first known "polygenic resilience score" that represents the additive contributions to SZ resistance by variants that are distinct from risk loci. The resilience score was derived from data compiled by the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, and replicated in three independent samples. This work establishes a generalizable framework for finding resilience variants for any complex, heritable disorder.
Association of Whole-Genome and NETRIN1 Signaling Pathway-Derived Polygenic Risk Scores for Major Depressive Disorder and White Matter Microstructure in the UK Biobank.
(Elsevier BV, 2019-01)
BACKGROUND: Major depressive disorder is a clinically heterogeneous psychiatric disorder with a polygenic architecture. Genome-wide association studies have identified a number of risk-associated variants across the genome and have reported growing evidence of NETRIN1 pathway involvement. Stratifying disease risk by genetic variation within the NETRIN1 pathway may provide important routes for identification of disease mechanisms by focusing on a specific process, excluding heterogeneous risk-associated variation in other pathways. Here, we sought to investigate whether major depressive disorder polygenic risk scores derived from the NETRIN1 signaling pathway (NETRIN1-PRSs) and the whole genome, excluding NETRIN1 pathway genes (genomic-PRSs), were associated with white matter microstructure. METHODS: We used two diffusion tensor imaging measures, fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD), in the most up-to-date UK Biobank neuroimaging data release (FA: n = 6401; MD: n = 6390). RESULTS: We found significantly lower FA in the superior longitudinal fasciculus (β = -.035, pcorrected = .029) and significantly higher MD in a global measure of thalamic radiations (β = .029, pcorrected = .021), as well as higher MD in the superior (β = .034, pcorrected = .039) and inferior (β = .029, pcorrected = .043) longitudinal fasciculus and in the anterior (β = .025, pcorrected = .046) and superior (β = .027, pcorrected = .043) thalamic radiation associated with NETRIN1-PRS. Genomic-PRS was also associated with lower FA and higher MD in several tracts. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that variation in the NETRIN1 signaling pathway may confer risk for major depressive disorder through effects on a number of white matter tracts.
Hair Cortisol in Twins: Heritability and Genetic Overlap with Psychological Variables and Stress-System Genes.
(Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2017-11-10)
Hair cortisol concentration (HCC) is a promising measure of long-term hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity. Previous research has suggested an association between HCC and psychological variables, and initial studies of inter-individual variance in HCC have implicated genetic factors. However, whether HCC and psychological variables share genetic risk factors remains unclear. The aims of the present twin study were to: (i) assess the heritability of HCC; (ii) estimate the phenotypic and genetic correlation between HPA axis activity and the psychological variables perceived stress, depressive symptoms, and neuroticism; using formal genetic twin models and molecular genetic methods, i.e. polygenic risk scores (PRS). HCC was measured in 671 adolescents and young adults. These included 115 monozygotic and 183 dizygotic twin-pairs. For 432 subjects PRS scores for plasma cortisol, major depression, and neuroticism were calculated using data from large genome wide association studies. The twin model revealed a heritability for HCC of 72%. No significant phenotypic or genetic correlation was found between HCC and the three psychological variables of interest. PRS did not explain variance in HCC. The present data suggest that HCC is highly heritable. However, the data do not support a strong biological link between HCC and any of the investigated psychological variables.
Genome-wide association study of borderline personality disorder reveals genetic overlap with bipolar disorder, major depression and schizophrenia
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2017-06-20)
Borderline personality disorder (BOR) is determined by environmental and genetic factors, and characterized by affective instability and impulsivity, diagnostic symptoms also observed in manic phases of bipolar disorder (BIP). Up to 20% of BIP patients show comorbidity with BOR. This report describes the first case-control genome-wide association study (GWAS) of BOR, performed in one of the largest BOR patient samples worldwide. The focus of our analysis was (i) to detect genes and gene sets involved in BOR and (ii) to investigate the genetic overlap with BIP. As there is considerable genetic overlap between BIP, major depression (MDD) and schizophrenia (SCZ) and a high comorbidity of BOR and MDD, we also analyzed the genetic overlap of BOR with SCZ and MDD. GWAS, gene-based tests and gene-set analyses were performed in 998 BOR patients and 1545 controls. Linkage disequilibrium score regression was used to detect the genetic overlap between BOR and these disorders. Single marker analysis revealed no significant association after correction for multiple testing. Gene-based analysis yielded two significant genes: DPYD (P=4.42 × 10-7) and PKP4 (P=8.67 × 10-7); and gene-set analysis yielded a significant finding for exocytosis (GO:0006887, PFDR=0.019; FDR, false discovery rate). Prior studies have implicated DPYD, PKP4 and exocytosis in BIP and SCZ. The most notable finding of the present study was the genetic overlap of BOR with BIP (rg=0.28 [P=2.99 × 10-3]), SCZ (rg=0.34 [P=4.37 × 10-5]) and MDD (rg=0.57 [P=1.04 × 10-3]). We believe our study is the first to demonstrate that BOR overlaps with BIP, MDD and SCZ on the genetic level. Whether this is confined to transdiagnostic clinical symptoms should be examined in future studies.
Analysis of the Influence of microRNAs in Lithium Response in Bipolar Disorder
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2018-05-31)
Bipolar disorder (BD) is a common, highly heritable neuropsychiatric disease characterized by recurrent episodes of mania and depression. Lithium is the best-established long-term treatment for BD, even though individual response is highly variable. Evidence suggests that some of this variability has a genetic basis. This is supported by the largest genome-wide association study (GWAS) of lithium response to date conducted by the International Consortium on Lithium Genetics (ConLiGen). Recently, we performed the first genome-wide analysis of the involvement of miRNAs in BD and identified nine BD-associated miRNAs. However, it is unknown whether these miRNAs are also associated with lithium response in BD. In the present study, we therefore tested whether common variants at these nine candidate miRNAs contribute to the variance in lithium response in BD. Furthermore, we systematically analyzed whether any other miRNA in the genome is implicated in the response to lithium. For this purpose, we performed gene-based tests for all known miRNA coding genes in the ConLiGen GWAS dataset (n = 2,563 patients) using a set-based testing approach adapted from the versatile gene-based test for GWAS (VEGAS2). In the candidate approach, miR-499a showed a nominally significant association with lithium response, providing some evidence for involvement in both development and treatment of BD. In the genome-wide miRNA analysis, 71 miRNAs showed nominally significant associations with the dichotomous phenotype and 106 with the continuous trait for treatment response. A total of 15 miRNAs revealed nominal significance in both phenotypes with miR-633 showing the strongest association with the continuous trait (p = 9.80E-04) and miR-607 with the dichotomous phenotype (p = 5.79E-04). No association between miRNAs and treatment response to lithium in BD in either of the tested conditions withstood multiple testing correction. Given the limited power of our study, the investigation of miRNAs in larger GWAS samples of BD and lithium response is warranted.
Investigating polygenic burden in age at disease onset in bipolar disorder: Findings from an international multicentric study
OBJECTIVES: Bipolar disorder (BD) with early disease onset is associated with an unfavorable clinical outcome and constitutes a clinically and biologically homogenous subgroup within the heterogeneous BD spectrum. Previous studies have found an accumulation of early age at onset (AAO) in BD families and have therefore hypothesized that there is a larger genetic contribution to the early-onset cases than to late onset BD. To investigate the genetic background of this subphenotype, we evaluated whether an increased polygenic burden of BD- and schizophrenia (SCZ)-associated risk variants is associated with an earlier AAO in BD patients. METHODS: A total of 1995 BD type 1 patients from the Consortium of Lithium Genetics (ConLiGen), PsyCourse and Bonn-Mannheim samples were genotyped and their BD and SCZ polygenic risk scores (PRSs) were calculated using the summary statistics of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium as a training data set. AAO was either separated into onset groups of clinical interest (childhood and adolescence [≤18 years] vs adulthood [>18 years]) or considered as a continuous measure. The associations between BD- and SCZ-PRSs and AAO were evaluated with regression models. RESULTS: BD- and SCZ-PRSs were not significantly associated with age at disease onset. Results remained the same when analyses were stratified by site of recruitment. CONCLUSIONS: The current study is the largest conducted so far to investigate the association between the cumulative BD and SCZ polygenic risk and AAO in BD patients. The reported negative results suggest that such a polygenic influence, if there is any, is not large, and highlight the importance of conducting further, larger scale studies to obtain more information on the genetic architecture of this clinically relevant phenotype.
Age at first birth in women is genetically associated with increased risk of schizophrenia
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2018-07-05)
Previous studies have shown an increased risk for mental health problems in children born to both younger and older parents compared to children of average-aged parents. We previously used a novel design to reveal a latent mechanism of genetic association between schizophrenia and age at first birth in women (AFB). Here, we use independent data from the UK Biobank (N = 38,892) to replicate the finding of an association between predicted genetic risk of schizophrenia and AFB in women, and to estimate the genetic correlation between schizophrenia and AFB in women stratified into younger and older groups. We find evidence for an association between predicted genetic risk of schizophrenia and AFB in women (P-value = 1.12E-05), and we show genetic heterogeneity between younger and older AFB groups (P-value = 3.45E-03). The genetic correlation between schizophrenia and AFB in the younger AFB group is -0.16 (SE = 0.04) while that between schizophrenia and AFB in the older AFB group is 0.14 (SE = 0.08). Our results suggest that early, and perhaps also late, age at first birth in women is associated with increased genetic risk for schizophrenia in the UK Biobank sample. These findings contribute new insights into factors contributing to the complex bio-social risk architecture underpinning the association between parental age and offspring mental health.
Prevalence and clinical correlates of insomnia symptoms and their association with quality of life in Chinese patients with HBV-related liver disease.
Objective: This study aimed to describe the one-month prevalence of insomnia symptoms (insomnia hereafter) and the demographic and clinical correlates, and its association with quality of life (QOL) in Chinese patients with HBV-related liver disease. Method: A total of 689 patients with HBV-related liver disease in Beijing, China formed the study sample. Three forms of insomnia including difficulty initiating sleep (DIS), difficulty maintaining sleep (DMS) and early morning awakening (EMA) were assessed using standardized questions. QOL was measured using the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 12 (SF-12). Results: The one-month prevalence of at least one type of insomnia was 69.5%, while DIS, DMS and EMA were 60.4%, 54.7% and 50.9%, respectively. Only 4.8% of patients suffering from insomnia received treatment. Multiple logistic regression analyses revealed that pre-existing medical conditions were positively associated with DIS and EMA; patients with more severe depressive symptoms were more likely to have DIS, DMS and EMA; local residents were less likely to have DIS; and those who were married and older were more likely to have DMS. Insomnia was not independently associated with QOL. Conclusions: Insomnia is common in Chinese patients with HBV-related liver disease with a very low rate of treatment. Greater attention should be given to identify and treat insomnia in this patient population.
Psychometric properties of the Chinese version of the Trunk Impairment Scale in people with a stroke.
(Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2021-03-10)
BACKGROUND: The Trunk Impairment Scale (TIS) has been translated into Chinese, but the psychometric properties of the Chinese version of the TIS (TIS-C) have not yet been established. We aimed to examine the reliability and validity of the TIS-C for assessing sitting balance among Chinese people with a stroke. METHODS: A descriptive, cross-sectional design was used. We recruited a convenience sample of 170 subacute stroke patients aged 18 years or over from the neurology departments of four traditional Chinese medicine hospitals in China. Patients completed the TIS-C, the Berg Balance Scale and the Modified Barthel Index. The psychometric properties of the TIS-C were examined to establish test-retest reliability, internal consistency, equivalence, and content, criterion, and construct validity. RESULTS: Intraclass correlation coefficients for inter-rater and intra-rater reliability ranged from 0.75 to 0.89 and from 0.90 to 0.97, respectively. The TIS-C Cronbach α was 0.86. The strong correlation between the total score of the TIS-C and the Berg Balance Scale (rs = 0.81, p < 0.001) or Modified Barthel Index (rs = 0.84, p < 0.001) suggested good concurrent and convergent validity, respectively. Known-group validity was supported by the significant difference (p < 0.001) in TIS-C scores between participants with mild and moderate stroke. CONCLUSIONS: The TIS-C is a valid and reliable tool for assessing static and dynamic sitting balance as well as coordination of trunk movement among stroke survivors with mild and moderate stroke.
Systematic Review: Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping (QSM) of Brain Iron Profile in Neurodegenerative Diseases
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2021-02-18)
Iron has been increasingly implicated in the pathology of neurodegenerative diseases. In the past decade, development of the new magnetic resonance imaging technique, quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM), has enabled for the more comprehensive investigation of iron distribution in the brain. The aim of this systematic review was to provide a synthesis of the findings from existing QSM studies in neurodegenerative diseases. We identified 80 records by searching MEDLINE, Embase, Scopus, and PsycInfo databases. The disorders investigated in these studies included Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Wilson's disease, Huntington's disease, Friedreich's ataxia, spinocerebellar ataxia, Fabry disease, myotonic dystrophy, pantothenate-kinase-associated neurodegeneration, and mitochondrial membrane protein-associated neurodegeneration. As a general pattern, QSM revealed increased magnetic susceptibility (suggestive of increased iron content) in the brain regions associated with the pathology of each disorder, such as the amygdala and caudate nucleus in Alzheimer's disease, the substantia nigra in Parkinson's disease, motor cortex in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, basal ganglia in Huntington's disease, and cerebellar dentate nucleus in Friedreich's ataxia. Furthermore, the increased magnetic susceptibility correlated with disease duration and severity of clinical features in some disorders. Although the number of studies is still limited in most of the neurodegenerative diseases, the existing evidence suggests that QSM can be a promising tool in the investigation of neurodegeneration.
Erratum: Uncovering the etiology of conversion disorder: insights from functional neuroimaging [Corrigendum].
(Informa UK Limited, 2016)
[This corrects the article on p. 143 in vol. 12, PMID: 26834476.].