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1.
Psychiatr Genet ; 2019 Sep 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31568069

RESUMO

Studying the relationship between mental illnesses and their environmental and genetic risk factors in low-income countries holds excellent promises. These studies will improve our understanding of how risk factors identified predominantly in high-income countries also apply to other settings and will identify new, sometimes population-specific risk factors. Here we report the successful completion of two intertwined pilot studies on khat abuse, trauma, and psychosis at the Gilgel Gibe Field Research Center in Ethiopia. We found that the Gilgel Gibe Field Research Center offers a unique opportunity to collect well-characterized samples for mental health research and to perform genetic studies that, at this scale, have not been undertaken in Ethiopia yet. We also supported service development, education, and research for strengthening the professional profile of psychiatry at the site.

2.
Transl Psychiatry ; 9(1): 210, 2019 Aug 28.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31462630

RESUMO

Cognitive deficits are a core feature of psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Evidence supports a genome-wide polygenic score (GPS) for educational attainment (GPSEDU) can be used to explain variability in cognitive performance. We aimed to identify different cognitive domains associated with GPSEDU in a transdiagnostic clinical cohort of chronic psychiatric patients with known cognitive deficits. Bipolar and schizophrenia patients from the PsyCourse cohort (N = 730; 43% female) were used. Likewise, we tested whether GPSs for schizophrenia (GPSSZ) and bipolar disorder (GPSBD) were associated with cognitive outcomes. GPSEDU explained 1.5% of variance in the backward verbal digit span, 1.9% in the number of correctly recalled words of the Verbal Learning and Memory Test, and 1.1% in crystallized intelligence. These effects were robust to the influences of treatment and diagnosis. No significant associations between GPSSZ or GPSBD with cognitive outcomes were found. Furthermore, these risk scores did not confound the effect of GPSEDU on cognitive outcomes. GPSEDU explains a small fraction of cognitive performance in adults with psychiatric disorders, specifically for domains related to linguistic learning and working memory. Investigating such a proxy-phenotype longitudinally, could give intriguing insight into the disease course, highlighting at what time genes play a more influential role on cognitive performance. Better understanding the origin of these deficits might help identify those patients at risk for lower levels of functioning and poor social outcomes. Polygenic estimates may in the future be part of predictive models for more personalized interventions.

3.
Schizophr Res ; 2019 Aug 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31395486

RESUMO

We tested whether a polygenic risk score integrating the effects of genes affecting neurodevelopment is associated to brain structural variation in healthy subjects. We acquired magnetic resonance imaging and genetic data of 167 healthy adults and computed a neurodevelopmental polygenic risk score (nPRS). We correlated the nPRS with local gyrification, cortical thickness and grey matter density and explored effects of single nucleotide polymorphisms included in the score. We did not find significant correlations of this nPRS with either measure. Individuals with the risk allele at rs11139497 show increases in cortical thickness (p < 0.05, FWE corrected) of the left superior temporal gyrus.

4.
Am J Psychiatry ; 176(8): 651-660, 2019 Aug 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31164008

RESUMO

OBJECTIVE: More than 90% of people who attempt suicide have a psychiatric diagnosis; however, twin and family studies suggest that the genetic etiology of suicide attempt is partially distinct from that of the psychiatric disorders themselves. The authors present the largest genome-wide association study (GWAS) on suicide attempt, using cohorts of individuals with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. METHODS: The samples comprised 1,622 suicide attempters and 8,786 nonattempters with major depressive disorder; 3,264 attempters and 5,500 nonattempters with bipolar disorder; and 1,683 attempters and 2,946 nonattempters with schizophrenia. A GWAS on suicide attempt was performed by comparing attempters to nonattempters with each disorder, followed by a meta-analysis across disorders. Polygenic risk scoring was used to investigate the genetic relationship between suicide attempt and the psychiatric disorders. RESULTS: Three genome-wide significant loci for suicide attempt were found: one associated with suicide attempt in major depressive disorder, one associated with suicide attempt in bipolar disorder, and one in the meta-analysis of suicide attempt in mood disorders. These associations were not replicated in independent mood disorder cohorts from the UK Biobank and iPSYCH. No significant associations were found in the meta-analysis of all three disorders. Polygenic risk scores for major depression were significantly associated with suicide attempt in major depressive disorder (R2=0.25%), bipolar disorder (R2=0.24%), and schizophrenia (R2=0.40%). CONCLUSIONS: This study provides new information on genetic associations and demonstrates that genetic liability for major depression increases risk for suicide attempt across psychiatric disorders. Further collaborative efforts to increase sample size may help to robustly identify genetic associations and provide biological insights into the etiology of suicide attempt.

5.
Schizophr Bull ; 2019 Jun 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31206164

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Cognitive impairment is a clinically important feature of schizophrenia. Polygenic risk score (PRS) methods have demonstrated genetic overlap between schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (BD), major depressive disorder (MDD), educational attainment (EA), and IQ, but very few studies have examined associations between these PRS and cognitive phenotypes within schizophrenia cases. METHODS: We combined genetic and cognitive data in 3034 schizophrenia cases from 11 samples using the general intelligence factor g as the primary measure of cognition. We used linear regression to examine the association between cognition and PRS for EA, IQ, schizophrenia, BD, and MDD. The results were then meta-analyzed across all samples. A genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of cognition was conducted in schizophrenia cases. RESULTS: PRS for both population IQ (P = 4.39 × 10-28) and EA (P = 1.27 × 10-26) were positively correlated with cognition in those with schizophrenia. In contrast, there was no association between cognition in schizophrenia cases and PRS for schizophrenia (P = .39), BD (P = .51), or MDD (P = .49). No individual variant approached genome-wide significance in the GWAS. CONCLUSIONS: Cognition in schizophrenia cases is more strongly associated with PRS that index cognitive traits in the general population than PRS for neuropsychiatric disorders. This suggests the mechanisms of cognitive variation within schizophrenia are at least partly independent from those that predispose to schizophrenia diagnosis itself. Our findings indicate that this cognitive variation arises at least in part due to genetic factors shared with cognitive performance in populations and is not solely due to illness or treatment-related factors, although our findings are consistent with important contributions from these factors.

7.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31124312

RESUMO

Psychiatric genetics research is improving our understanding of the biological underpinnings of neurodiversity and mental illness. Using psychiatric genetics in ways that maximize benefits and minimize harms to individuals and society depends largely on how the ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) of psychiatric genetics are managed. The International Society of Psychiatric Genetics (ISPG) is the largest international organization dedicated to psychiatric genetics. Given its history, membership, and international reach, we believe the ISPG is well-equipped to contribute to the resolution of these ELSI challenges. As such, we recently created the ISPG Ethics Committee, an interdisciplinary group comprised of psychiatric genetics researchers, clinical geneticists, genetic counselors, mental health professionals, patients, patient advocates, bioethicists, and lawyers. This article highlights key ELSI challenges identified by the ISPG Ethics Committee to be of paramount importance for the ethical translation of psychiatric research into society in three contexts: research settings, clinical settings, and legal proceedings. For each of these arenas, we identify and discuss pressing psychiatric genetics ELSI dilemmas that merit attention and require action. The goal is to increase awareness about psychiatric genetics ELSI issues and encourage dialogue and action among stakeholders.

8.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30912305

RESUMO

Recent breakthroughs in psychiatric genetics have identified genetic risk factors of yet unknown clinical value. A main ethical principal in the context of psychiatric research as well as future clinical genetic testing is the respect for a person's autonomy to decide whether to undergo genetic testing, and whom to grant access to genetic data. However, experience within the psychiatric genetic research setting has indicated controversies surrounding attitudes toward this ethical principal. This study aimed to explore attitudes concerning the right of individuals to self-determine testing and disclosure of results, and to determine whether these attitudes are context-dependent, that is, not directly related to the test result but rather to specific circumstances. N = 160 individuals with major depression or bipolar disorder and n = 29 relatives of individuals with either illness completed an online-questionnaire assessing attitudes toward genetic testing, genetic research, disclosure of results, incidental findings, and access to psychiatric genetic test results. Generally, the right of the person's autonomy was considered very important, but attitudes varied. For example, half of those who considered that children should have the right to refuse psychiatric genetic testing even against their parents' will, also state that they should be tested upon their parents' wishes. Also, the majority of respondents considered the physician entitled to disregard their stated wishes concerning the disclosure of incidental findings in case of good treatment options. Thus, researchers and clinicians must be aware that attitudes toward psychiatric genetic testing are often mutable and should discuss these prior to testing.

9.
Nervenarzt ; 90(2): 99-106, 2019 Feb.
Artigo em Alemão | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30758637

RESUMO

A long-established hypothesis is that genetic factors contribute to the development of psychiatric diseases, including common illnesses such as schizophrenia and the affective disorders; however, reliable molecular identification of these factors represents a far more recent innovation. This has been rendered possible by technological advances in the individual characterization of the human genome and the combining of large genetic datasets at the international level. For the first time, the results of genome-wide analyses provide researchers with systematic insights into disease-relevant biological mechanisms. Here, the integrated analysis of different omics level data generates important insights into the functional interpretation of the genetic findings. The results of genetic studies also demonstrated the degree of etiological overlap between differing psychiatric disorders, with the greatest commonality having been observed to date between schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder. Although the translation of genetic findings into routine clinical practice is being pursued at various levels, elaborate follow-up studies are typically necessary. The diagnostic investigation of rare genomic deletions/duplications (so-called copy number variants) in patients with schizophrenia is likely to represent one of the first examples of routine clinical application. The necessary prerequisites for this are currently being defined.


Assuntos
Predisposição Genética para Doença , Transtornos Mentais , Transtorno Bipolar/genética , Variações do Número de Cópias de DNA , Estudo de Associação Genômica Ampla , Genômica , Humanos , Transtornos Mentais/genética , Esquizofrenia/genética
10.
Schizophr Res ; 210: 255-261, 2019 Aug.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30611655

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Religious delusions are a common symptom in patients experiencing psychosis, with varying prevalence rates of religious delusions across cultures and societies. To enhance our knowledge of this distinct psychotic feature, we investigated the mutually-adjusted association of genetic and environmental factors with occurrence of religious delusions. METHODS: We studied 262 adult German patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Association with lifetime occurrence of religious delusions was tested by multiple logistic regression for the following putative predictors: self-reported degree of religious activity, DSM-IV diagnosis, sex, age, education level, marital status, presence of acute delusion at the time of interview and an individual polygenic schizophrenia-risk score (SZ-PRS, available in 239 subjects). RESULTS: Of the 262 patients, 101 (39%) had experienced religious delusions. The risk of experiencing religious delusions was significantly increased in patients with strong religious activity compared to patients without religious affiliation (OR = 3.6, p = 0.010). Low or moderate religious activity had no significant effect. The same analysis including the SZ-PRS confirmed the effect of high religious activity on occurrence of religious delusions (OR = 4.1, p = 0.008). Additionally, the risk of experiencing religious delusions increased with higher SZ-PRS (OR 1.4, p = 0.020, using pT = 0.05 for SZ-PRS calculation). None of the other variables were significantly associated with lifetime occurrence of religious delusions. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that strong religious activity and high SZ-PRS are independent risk factors for the occurrence of religious delusions in schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder.

11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30503783

RESUMO

Genome-wide association studies of case-control status have advanced the understanding of the genetic basis of psychiatric disorders. Further progress may be gained by increasing sample size but also by new analysis strategies that advance the exploitation of existing data, especially for clinically important quantitative phenotypes. The functionally-informed efficient region-based test strategy (FIERS) introduced herein uses prior knowledge on biological function and dependence of genotypes within a powerful statistical framework with improved sensitivity and specificity for detecting consistent genetic effects across studies. As proof of concept, FIERS was used for the first genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based investigation on bipolar disorder (BD) that focuses on an important aspect of disease course, the functional outcome. FIERS identified a significantly associated locus on chromosome 15 (hg38: chr15:48965004 - 49464789 bp) with consistent effect strength between two independent studies (GAIN/TGen: European Americans, BOMA: Germans; n = 1592 BD patients in total). Protective and risk haplotypes were found on the most strongly associated SNPs. They contain a CTCF binding site (rs586758); CTCF sites are known to regulate sets of genes within a chromatin domain. The rs586758 - rs2086256 - rs1904317 haplotype is located in the promoter flanking region of the COPS2 gene, close to microRNA4716, and the EID1, SHC4, DTWD1 genes as plausible biological candidates. While implication with BD is novel, COPS2, EID1, and SHC4 are known to be relevant for neuronal differentiation and function and DTWD1 for psychopharmacological side effects. The test strategy FIERS that enabled this discovery is equally applicable for tag SNPs and sequence data.

12.
Int J Bipolar Disord ; 6(1): 24, 2018 Nov 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30415424

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Disentangling the etiology of common, complex diseases is a major challenge in genetic research. For bipolar disorder (BD), several genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been performed. Similar to other complex disorders, major breakthroughs in explaining the high heritability of BD through GWAS have remained elusive. To overcome this dilemma, genetic research into BD, has embraced a variety of strategies such as the formation of large consortia to increase sample size and sequencing approaches. Here we advocate a complementary approach making use of already existing GWAS data: a novel data mining procedure to identify yet undetected genotype-phenotype relationships. We adapted association rule mining, a data mining technique traditionally used in retail market research, to identify frequent and characteristic genotype patterns showing strong associations to phenotype clusters. We applied this strategy to three independent GWAS datasets from 2835 phenotypically characterized patients with BD. In a discovery step, 20,882 candidate association rules were extracted. RESULTS: Two of these rules-one associated with eating disorder and the other with anxiety-remained significant in an independent dataset after robust correction for multiple testing. Both showed considerable effect sizes (odds ratio ~ 3.4 and 3.0, respectively) and support previously reported molecular biological findings. CONCLUSION: Our approach detected novel specific genotype-phenotype relationships in BD that were missed by standard analyses like GWAS. While we developed and applied our method within the context of BD gene discovery, it may facilitate identifying highly specific genotype-phenotype relationships in subsets of genome-wide data sets of other complex phenotype with similar epidemiological properties and challenges to gene discovery efforts.

13.
PLoS One ; 13(10): e0205895, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30379966

RESUMO

Bipolar disorder (BD) is a major psychiatric illness affecting around 1% of the global population. BD is characterized by recurrent manic and depressive episodes, and has an estimated heritability of around 70%. Research has identified the first BD susceptibility genes. However, the underlying pathways and regulatory networks remain largely unknown. Research suggests that the cumulative impact of common alleles with small effects explains only around 25-38% of the phenotypic variance for BD. A plausible hypothesis therefore is that rare, high penetrance variants may contribute to BD risk. The present study investigated the role of rare, nonsynonymous, and potentially functional variants via whole exome sequencing in 15 BD cases from two large, multiply affected families from Cuba. The high prevalence of BD in these pedigrees renders them promising in terms of the identification of genetic risk variants with large effect sizes. In addition, SNP array data were used to calculate polygenic risk scores for affected and unaffected family members. After correction for multiple testing, no significant increase in polygenic risk scores for common, BD-associated genetic variants was found in BD cases compared to healthy relatives. Exome sequencing identified a total of 17 rare and potentially damaging variants in 17 genes. The identified variants were shared by all investigated BD cases in the respective pedigree. The most promising variant was located in the gene SERPING1 (p.L349F), which has been reported previously as a genome-wide significant risk gene for schizophrenia. The present data suggest novel candidate genes for BD susceptibility, and may facilitate the discovery of disease-relevant pathways and regulatory networks.

14.
Nat Neurosci ; 21(12): 1656-1669, 2018 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30482948

RESUMO

Liability to alcohol dependence (AD) is heritable, but little is known about its complex polygenic architecture or its genetic relationship with other disorders. To discover loci associated with AD and characterize the relationship between AD and other psychiatric and behavioral outcomes, we carried out the largest genome-wide association study to date of DSM-IV-diagnosed AD. Genome-wide data on 14,904 individuals with AD and 37,944 controls from 28 case-control and family-based studies were meta-analyzed, stratified by genetic ancestry (European, n = 46,568; African, n = 6,280). Independent, genome-wide significant effects of different ADH1B variants were identified in European (rs1229984; P = 9.8 × 10-13) and African ancestries (rs2066702; P = 2.2 × 10-9). Significant genetic correlations were observed with 17 phenotypes, including schizophrenia, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, depression, and use of cigarettes and cannabis. The genetic underpinnings of AD only partially overlap with those for alcohol consumption, underscoring the genetic distinction between pathological and nonpathological drinking behaviors.

15.
Int J Cancer ; 143(11): 2800-2813, 2018 Dec 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29987844

RESUMO

In many families with suspected Lynch syndrome (LS), no germline mutation in the causative mismatch repair (MMR) genes is detected during routine diagnostics. To identify novel causative genes for LS, the present study investigated 77 unrelated, mutation-negative patients with clinically suspected LS and a loss of MSH2 in tumor tissue. An analysis for genomic copy number variants (CNV) was performed, with subsequent next generation sequencing (NGS) of selected candidate genes in a subgroup of the cohort. Genomic DNA was genotyped using Illumina's HumanOmniExpress Bead Array. After quality control and filtering, 25 deletions and 16 duplications encompassing 73 genes were identified in 28 patients. No recurrent CNV was detected, and none of the CNVs affected the regulatory regions of MSH2. A total of 49 candidate genes from genomic regions implicated by the present CNV analysis and 30 known or assumed risk genes for colorectal cancer (CRC) were then sequenced in a subset of 38 patients using a customized NGS gene panel and Sanger sequencing. Single nucleotide variants were identified in 14 candidate genes from the CNV analysis. The most promising of these candidate genes were: (i) PRKCA, PRKDC, and MCM4, as a functional relation to MSH2 is predicted by network analysis, and (ii) CSMD1, as this is commonly mutated in CRC. Furthermore, six patients harbored POLE variants outside the exonuclease domain, suggesting that these might be implicated in hereditary CRC. Analyses in larger cohorts of suspected LS patients recruited via international collaborations are warranted to verify the present findings.

17.
Front Psychiatry ; 9: 207, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29904359

RESUMO

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.

18.
Psychiatr Genet ; 28(4): 66-70, 2018 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29901528

RESUMO

The clinical comorbidity of alcohol dependence (AD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) is well established, whereas genetic factors influencing co-occurrence remain unclear. A recent study using polygenic risk scores (PRS) calculated based on the first-wave Psychiatric Genomics Consortium MDD meta-analysis (PGC-MDD1) suggests a modest shared genetic contribution to MDD and AD. Using a (~10 fold) larger discovery sample, we calculated PRS based on the second wave (PGC-MDD2) of results, in a severe AD case­control target sample. We found significant associations between AD disease status and MDD-PRS derived from both PGC-MDD2 (most informative P-threshold=1.0, P=0.00063, R2=0.533%) and PGC-MDD1 (P-threshold=0.2, P=0.00014, R2=0.663%) meta-analyses; the larger discovery sample did not yield additional predictive power. In contrast, calculating PRS in a MDD target sample yielded increased power when using PGC-MDD2 (P-threshold=1.0, P=0.000038, R2=1.34%) versus PGC-MDD1 (P-threshold=1.0, P=0.0013, R2=0.81%). Furthermore, when calculating PGC-MDD2 PRS in a subsample of patients with AD recruited explicitly excluding comorbid MDD, significant associations were still found (n=331; P-threshold=1.0, P=0.042, R2=0.398%). Meanwhile, in the subset of patients in which MDD was not the explicit exclusion criteria, PRS predicted more variance (n=999; P-threshold=1.0, P=0.0003, R2=0.693%). Our findings replicate the reported genetic overlap between AD and MDD and also suggest the need for improved, rigorous phenotyping to identify true shared cross-disorder genetic factors. Larger target samples are needed to reduce noise and take advantage of increasing discovery sample size.

19.
Bipolar Disord ; 2018 Jun 28.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29956436

RESUMO

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.

20.
Nat Genet ; 50(5): 668-681, 2018 May.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29700475

RESUMO

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common illness accompanied by considerable morbidity, mortality, costs, and heightened risk of suicide. We conducted a genome-wide association meta-analysis based in 135,458 cases and 344,901 controls and identified 44 independent and significant loci. The genetic findings were associated with clinical features of major depression and implicated brain regions exhibiting anatomical differences in cases. Targets of antidepressant medications and genes involved in gene splicing were enriched for smaller association signal. We found important relationships of genetic risk for major depression with educational attainment, body mass, and schizophrenia: lower educational attainment and higher body mass were putatively causal, whereas major depression and schizophrenia reflected a partly shared biological etiology. All humans carry lesser or greater numbers of genetic risk factors for major depression. These findings help refine the basis of major depression and imply that a continuous measure of risk underlies the clinical phenotype.

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