Publications by authors named "Lucía Colodro-Conde"

63 Publications

Investigating perceived heritability of mental health disorders and attitudes toward genetic testing in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.

Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet 2021 09 25;186(6):341-352. Epub 2021 Sep 25.

Psychiatric Genetics, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Herston, Queensland, Australia.

Our beliefs about the heritability of psychiatric traits may influence how we respond to the use of genetic information in this area. In the present study, we aim to inform future education campaigns as well as genetic counseling interventions by exploring common fears and misunderstandings associated with learning about genetic predispositions for mental health disorders. We surveyed 3,646 genetic research participants from Australia, and 960 members of the public from the United Kingdom, and the United States, and evaluated attitudes toward psychiatric genetic testing. Participants were asked hypothetical questions about their interest in psychiatric genetic testing, perceived usefulness of psychiatric genetic testing, and beliefs about malleability of behavior, among others. We also asked them to estimate the heritability of alcohol dependence, schizophrenia, and major depression. We found a high interest in psychiatric genetic testing. In most cases, more than a third of the participants showed serious concerns related to learning about personal genetic predisposition, such as not wanting to have children if they knew they had a high genetic predisposition, or not wanting to choose a partner with a high genetic predisposition for a mental health problem. Finally, we found a significant association between most participants' attitudes and their lay estimates of heritability, which highlights the complexity of educating the public about genetics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.b.32875DOI Listing
September 2021

Educational attainment of same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins: An individual-level pooled study of 19 twin cohorts.

Horm Behav 2021 Nov 3;136:105054. Epub 2021 Sep 3.

Psychology Department, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

Comparing twins from same- and opposite-sex pairs can provide information on potential sex differences in a variety of outcomes, including socioeconomic-related outcomes such as educational attainment. It has been suggested that this design can be applied to examine the putative role of intrauterine exposure to testosterone for educational attainment, but the evidence is still disputed. Thus, we established an international database of twin data from 11 countries with 88,290 individual dizygotic twins born over 100 years and tested for differences between twins from same- and opposite-sex dizygotic pairs in educational attainment. Effect sizes with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated by linear regression models after adjusting for birth year and twin study cohort. In contrast to the hypothesis, no difference was found in women (β = -0.05 educational years, 95% CI -0.11, 0.02). However, men with a same-sex co-twin were slightly more educated than men having an opposite-sex co-twin (β = 0.14 educational years, 95% CI 0.07, 0.21). No consistent differences in effect sizes were found between individual twin study cohorts representing Europe, the USA, and Australia or over the cohorts born during the 20th century, during which period the sex differences in education reversed favoring women in the latest birth cohorts. Further, no interaction was found with maternal or paternal education. Our results contradict the hypothesis that there would be differences in the intrauterine testosterone levels between same-sex and opposite-sex female twins affecting education. Our findings in men may point to social dynamics within same-sex twin pairs that may benefit men in their educational careers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yhbeh.2021.105054DOI Listing
November 2021

Continuity of Genetic Risk for Aggressive Behavior Across the Life-Course.

Behav Genet 2021 09 14;51(5):592-606. Epub 2021 Aug 14.

Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit, Van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081 BT, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

We test whether genetic influences that explain individual differences in aggression in early life also explain individual differences across the life-course. In two cohorts from The Netherlands (N = 13,471) and Australia (N = 5628), polygenic scores (PGSs) were computed based on a genome-wide meta-analysis of childhood/adolescence aggression. In a novel analytic approach, we ran a mixed effects model for each age (Netherlands: 12-70 years, Australia: 16-73 years), with observations at the focus age weighted as 1, and decaying weights for ages further away. We call this approach a 'rolling weights' model. In The Netherlands, the estimated effect of the PGS was relatively similar from age 12 to age 41, and decreased from age 41-70. In Australia, there was a peak in the effect of the PGS around age 40 years. These results are a first indication from a molecular genetics perspective that genetic influences on aggressive behavior that are expressed in childhood continue to play a role later in life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10519-021-10076-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8390412PMC
September 2021

Genetic association study of childhood aggression across raters, instruments, and age.

Transl Psychiatry 2021 07 30;11(1):413. Epub 2021 Jul 30.

Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK.

Childhood aggressive behavior (AGG) has a substantial heritability of around 50%. Here we present a genome-wide association meta-analysis (GWAMA) of childhood AGG, in which all phenotype measures across childhood ages from multiple assessors were included. We analyzed phenotype assessments for a total of 328 935 observations from 87 485 children aged between 1.5 and 18 years, while accounting for sample overlap. We also meta-analyzed within subsets of the data, i.e., within rater, instrument and age. SNP-heritability for the overall meta-analysis (AGG) was 3.31% (SE = 0.0038). We found no genome-wide significant SNPs for AGG. The gene-based analysis returned three significant genes: ST3GAL3 (P = 1.6E-06), PCDH7 (P = 2.0E-06), and IPO13 (P = 2.5E-06). All three genes have previously been associated with educational traits. Polygenic scores based on our GWAMA significantly predicted aggression in a holdout sample of children (variance explained = 0.44%) and in retrospectively assessed childhood aggression (variance explained = 0.20%). Genetic correlations (r) among rater-specific assessment of AGG ranged from r = 0.46 between self- and teacher-assessment to r = 0.81 between mother- and teacher-assessment. We obtained moderate-to-strong rs with selected phenotypes from multiple domains, but hardly with any of the classical biomarkers thought to be associated with AGG. Significant genetic correlations were observed with most psychiatric and psychological traits (range [Formula: see text]: 0.19-1.00), except for obsessive-compulsive disorder. Aggression had a negative genetic correlation (r = ~-0.5) with cognitive traits and age at first birth. Aggression was strongly genetically correlated with smoking phenotypes (range [Formula: see text]: 0.46-0.60). The genetic correlations between aggression and psychiatric disorders were weaker for teacher-reported AGG than for mother- and self-reported AGG. The current GWAMA of childhood aggression provides a powerful tool to interrogate the rater-specific genetic etiology of AGG.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41398-021-01480-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8324785PMC
July 2021

Two genetic analyses to elucidate causality between body mass index and personality.

Int J Obes (Lond) 2021 10 10;45(10):2244-2251. Epub 2021 Jul 10.

University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia.

Background/objectives: Many personality traits correlate with BMI, but the existence and direction of causal links between them are unclear. If personality influences BMI, knowing this causal direction could inform weight management strategies. Knowing that BMI instead influences personality would contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms of personality development and the possible psychological effects of weight change. We tested the existence and direction of causal links between BMI and personality.

Subjects/methods: We employed two genetically informed methods. In Mendelian randomization, allele scores were calculated to summarize genetic propensity for the personality traits neuroticism, worry, and depressive affect and used to predict BMI in an independent sample (N = 3 541). Similarly, an allele score for BMI was used to predict eating-specific and domain-general phenotypic personality scores (PPSs; aggregate scores of personality traits weighted by BMI). In a direction of causation (DoC) analysis, twin data from five countries (N = 5424) were used to assess the fit of four alternative models: PPSs influencing BMI, BMI influencing PPSs, reciprocal causation, and no causation.

Results: In Mendelian randomization, the allele score for BMI predicted domain-general (β = 0.05; 95% CI: 0.02, 0.08; P = 0.003) and eating-specific PPS (β = 0.06; 95% CI: 0.03, 0.09; P < 0.001). The allele score for worry also predicted BMI (β = -0.05; 95% CI: -0.08, -0.02; P < 0.001), while those for neuroticism and depressive affect did not (P ≥ 0.459). In DoC, BMI similarly predicted domain-general (β = 0.21; 95% CI:, 0.18, 0.24; P < 0.001) and eating-specific personality traits (β = 0.19; 95% CI:, 0.16, 0.22; P < 0.001), suggesting causality from BMI to personality traits. In exploratory analyses, links between BMI and domain-general personality traits appeared reciprocal for higher-weight individuals (BMI > ~25).

Conclusions: Although both genetic analyses suggested an influence of BMI on personality traits, it is not yet known if weight management interventions could influence personality. Personality traits may influence BMI in turn, but effects in this direction appeared weaker.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41366-021-00885-4DOI Listing
October 2021

Genetic Influences on the Covariance and Genetic Correlations in a Bivariate Twin Model: An Application to Well-Being.

Behav Genet 2021 05 13;51(3):191-203. Epub 2021 Feb 13.

Department of Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081 BT, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The distinction between genetic influences on the covariance (or bivariate heritability) and genetic correlations in bivariate twin models is often not well-understood or only one is reported while the results show distinctive information about the relation between traits. We applied bivariate twin models in a large sample of adolescent twins, to disentangle the association between well-being (WB) and four complex traits (optimism, anxious-depressed symptoms (AD), aggressive behaviour (AGG), and educational achievement (EA)). Optimism and AD showed respectively a strong positive and negative phenotypic correlation with WB, the negative correlation of WB and AGG is lower and the correlation with EA is nearly zero. All four traits showed a large genetic contribution to the covariance with well-being. The genetic correlations of well-being with optimism and AD are strong and smaller for AGG and EA. We used the results of the models to explain what information is retrieved based on the bivariate heritability versus the genetic correlations and the (clinical) implications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10519-021-10046-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8093176PMC
May 2021

Comparison of Familial, Polygenic and Biochemical Predictors of Mortality.

Twin Res Hum Genet 2020 12 29;23(6):307-315. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Department of Genetics and Computational Biology, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Mortality risk is known to be associated with many physiological or biochemical risk factors, and polygenic risk scores (PRSs) may offer an additional or alternative approach to risk stratification. We have compared the predictive value of common biochemical tests, PRSs and information on parental survival in a cohort of twins and their families. Common biochemical test results were available for up to 13,365 apparently healthy men and women, aged 17-93 years (mean 49.0, standard deviation [SD] 13.7) at blood collection. PRSs for longevity were available for 14,169 study participants and reported parental survival for 25,784 participants. A search for information on date and cause of death was conducted through the Australian National Death Index, with median follow-up of 11.3 years. Cox regression was used to evaluate associations with mortality from all causes, cancers, cardiovascular diseases and other causes. Linear relationships with all-cause mortality were strongest for C-reactive protein, gamma-glutamyl transferase, glucose and alkaline phosphatase, with hazard ratios (HRs) of 1.16 (95% CI [1.07, 1.24]), 1.15 (95% CI 1.04-1.21), 1.13 (95% CI [1.08, 1.19]) and 1.11 (95% CI [1.05, 1.88]) per SD difference, respectively. Significant nonlinear effects were found for urea, uric acid and butyrylcholinesterase. Lipid risk factors were not statistically significant for mortality in our cohort. Family history and PRS showed weaker but significant associations with survival, with HR in the range 1.05 to 1.09 per SD difference. In conclusion, biochemical tests currently predict long-term mortality more strongly than genetic scores based on genotyping or on reported parental survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/thg.2020.89DOI Listing
December 2020

The Role of the Environment in Overweight and Eating Behavior Variability: Insights from a Multivariate Twin Study.

Twin Res Hum Genet 2020 12 22;23(6):338-344. Epub 2021 Jan 22.

Department of Human Anatomy and Psychobiology, University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain.

Research has emphasized the genetic basis of individual differences in body mass index (BMI); however, genetic factors cannot explain the rapid rise of obesity. Eating behaviors have been stipulated to be the behavioral expression of genetic risk in an obesogenic environment. In this study, we decompose variation and covariation between three key eating behaviors and BMI in a sample of 698 participants, consisting of 167 monozygotic, 150 dizygotic complete same-sex female twins and 64 incomplete pairs from a population-based twin registry in the southeast of Spain, The Murcia Twin Registry. Phenotypes were emotional eating, uncontrolled eating and cognitive restraint, measured by the Three Factor Eating Questionnaire and objectively measured BMI. Variation in eating behaviors was driven by nonshared environmental factors (range: 56%-65%), whereas shared environmental and genetic factors were secondary. All three eating behaviors were correlated with BMI (r = .19-.25). Nonshared environmental factors explained the covariations (Emotional eating-Uncontrolled eating: rE = .54, 95% CI [.43, .64]; BMI-Cognitive restraint: rE = .15, 95% CI [.01, .28]). In contrast to BMI, individual differences in eating behaviors are mostly explained by nonshared environmental factors, which also accounted for the phenotypic correlation between eating behaviors and BMI. Due to the sample size, analyses were underpowered to detect contributions of additive genetic or shared environmental factors to variation and covariation of the phenotypes. Although more research is granted, these results support that eating behaviors could be viable intervention targets to help individuals maintain a healthy weight.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/thg.2020.90DOI Listing
December 2020

Ten years of enhancing neuro-imaging genetics through meta-analysis: An overview from the ENIGMA Genetics Working Group.

Hum Brain Mapp 2020 Dec 10. Epub 2020 Dec 10.

Imaging Genetics Center, Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute, Keck School of Medicine of USC, University of Southern California, Marina del Rey, California, USA.

Here we review the motivation for creating the enhancing neuroimaging genetics through meta-analysis (ENIGMA) Consortium and the genetic analyses undertaken by the consortium so far. We discuss the methodological challenges, findings, and future directions of the genetics working group. A major goal of the working group is tackling the reproducibility crisis affecting "candidate gene" and genome-wide association analyses in neuroimaging. To address this, we developed harmonized analytic methods, and support their use in coordinated analyses across sites worldwide, which also makes it possible to understand heterogeneity in results across sites. These efforts have resulted in the identification of hundreds of common genomic loci robustly associated with brain structure. We have found both pleiotropic and specific genetic effects associated with brain structures, as well as genetic correlations with psychiatric and neurological diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.25311DOI Listing
December 2020

The Evolutionary History of Common Genetic Variants Influencing Human Cortical Surface Area.

Cereb Cortex 2021 03;31(4):1873-1887

Department of Genetics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.

Structural brain changes along the lineage leading to modern Homo sapiens contributed to our distinctive cognitive and social abilities. However, the evolutionarily relevant molecular variants impacting key aspects of neuroanatomy are largely unknown. Here, we integrate evolutionary annotations of the genome at diverse timescales with common variant associations from large-scale neuroimaging genetic screens. We find that alleles with evidence of recent positive polygenic selection over the past 2000-3000 years are associated with increased surface area (SA) of the entire cortex, as well as specific regions, including those involved in spoken language and visual processing. Therefore, polygenic selective pressures impact the structure of specific cortical areas even over relatively recent timescales. Moreover, common sequence variation within human gained enhancers active in the prenatal cortex is associated with postnatal global SA. We show that such variation modulates the function of a regulatory element of the developmentally relevant transcription factor HEY2 in human neural progenitor cells and is associated with structural changes in the inferior frontal cortex. These results indicate that non-coding genomic regions active during prenatal cortical development are involved in the evolution of human brain structure and identify novel regulatory elements and genes impacting modern human brain structure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhaa327DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7945014PMC
March 2021

Genetic correlations and genome-wide associations of cortical structure in general population samples of 22,824 adults.

Nat Commun 2020 09 22;11(1):4796. Epub 2020 Sep 22.

Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Cortical thickness, surface area and volumes vary with age and cognitive function, and in neurological and psychiatric diseases. Here we report heritability, genetic correlations and genome-wide associations of these cortical measures across the whole cortex, and in 34 anatomically predefined regions. Our discovery sample comprises 22,824 individuals from 20 cohorts within the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) consortium and the UK Biobank. We identify genetic heterogeneity between cortical measures and brain regions, and 160 genome-wide significant associations pointing to wnt/β-catenin, TGF-β and sonic hedgehog pathways. There is enrichment for genes involved in anthropometric traits, hindbrain development, vascular and neurodegenerative disease and psychiatric conditions. These data are a rich resource for studies of the biological mechanisms behind cortical development and aging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-18367-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7508833PMC
September 2020

Genetic and Environmental Causes of Individual Differences in Borderline Personality Disorder Features and Loneliness are Partially Shared.

Twin Res Hum Genet 2020 08;23(4):214-220

Netherlands Twin Register, Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Loneliness is related to mental and somatic health outcomes, including borderline personality disorder. Here, we analyze the sources of variation that are responsible for the relationship between borderline personality features (including four dimensions, affective instability, identity disturbance, negative relationships, self-harm and a total score) and loneliness. Using genetically informative data from two large nonclinical samples of adult twin pairs from Australia and the Netherlands (N = 11,329), we estimate the phenotypic, genetic and environmental correlations between self-reported borderline personality features and loneliness. Individual differences in borderline personality and loneliness were best explained by additive genetic factors with heritability estimates h2 = 41% for the borderline personality total score and h2 = 36% for loneliness, with the remaining variation explained by environmental influences that were not shared by twins from the same pair. Genetic and environmental factors influencing borderline personality (total score and four subscales separately) were also partial causes of loneliness. The correlation between loneliness and the borderline personality total score was rph = .51. The genetic correlation was estimated at rg = .64 and the environmental correlation at re = .40. Our study suggests common etiological factors in loneliness and borderline personality features.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/thg.2020.62DOI Listing
August 2020

Genetic and environmental variation in educational attainment: an individual-based analysis of 28 twin cohorts.

Sci Rep 2020 07 29;10(1):12681. Epub 2020 Jul 29.

Washington State Twin Registry, Washington State University - Health Sciences Spokane, Spokane, WA, USA.

We investigated the heritability of educational attainment and how it differed between birth cohorts and cultural-geographic regions. A classical twin design was applied to pooled data from 28 cohorts representing 16 countries and including 193,518 twins with information on educational attainment at 25 years of age or older. Genetic factors explained the major part of individual differences in educational attainment (heritability: a = 0.43; 0.41-0.44), but also environmental variation shared by co-twins was substantial (c = 0.31; 0.30-0.33). The proportions of educational variation explained by genetic and shared environmental factors did not differ between Europe, North America and Australia, and East Asia. When restricted to twins 30 years or older to confirm finalized education, the heritability was higher in the older cohorts born in 1900-1949 (a = 0.44; 0.41-0.46) than in the later cohorts born in 1950-1989 (a = 0.38; 0.36-0.40), with a corresponding lower influence of common environmental factors (c = 0.31; 0.29-0.33 and c = 0.34; 0.32-0.36, respectively). In conclusion, both genetic and environmental factors shared by co-twins have an important influence on individual differences in educational attainment. The effect of genetic factors on educational attainment has decreased from the cohorts born before to those born after the 1950s.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-69526-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7391756PMC
July 2020

Nick Martin's Contribution to GxE Research.

Twin Res Hum Genet 2020 Apr;23(2):131-134

Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

The study and identification of genotype-environment interactions (GxE) has been a hot topic in the field of human genetics for several decades. Yet the extent to which GxE contributes to human behavior variability, and its mechanisms, remains largely unknown. Nick Martin has contributed important advances to the field of GxE for human behavior, which include methodological developments, novel analyses and reviews. Here, we will first review Nick's contributions to the GxE research, which started during his PhD and consistently appears in many of his over 1000 publications. Then, we recount a project that led to an article testing the diathesis-stress model for the origins of depression. In this publication, we observed the presence of an interaction between polygenic risk scores for depression (the risk in our 'genotype') and stressful life events (the experiences from our 'environment'), which provided the first empirical support of this model.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/thg.2020.35DOI Listing
April 2020

Cohort profile: the Australian genetics of depression study.

BMJ Open 2020 05 26;10(5):e032580. Epub 2020 May 26.

QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Herston, Queensland, Australia.

Purpose: Depression is the most common psychiatric disorder and the largest contributor to global disability. The Australian Genetics of Depression study was established to recruit a large cohort of individuals who have been diagnosed with depression at some point in their lifetime. The purpose of establishing this cohort is to investigate genetic and environmental risk factors for depression and response to commonly prescribed antidepressants.

Participants: A total of 20 689 participants were recruited through the Australian Department of Human Services and a media campaign, 75% of whom were female. The average age of participants was 43 years±15 years. Participants completed an online questionnaire that consisted of a compulsory module that assessed self-reported psychiatric history, clinical depression using the Composite Interview Diagnostic Interview Short Form and experiences of using commonly prescribed antidepressants. Further voluntary modules assessed a wide range of traits of relevance to psychopathology. Participants who reported they were willing to provide a DNA sample (75%) were sent a saliva kit in the mail.

Findings To Date: 95% of participants reported being given a diagnosis of depression by a medical practitioner and 88% met the criteria for a lifetime depressive episode. 68% of the sample report having been diagnosed with another psychiatric disorder in addition to depression. In line with findings from clinical trials, only 33% of the sample report responding well to the first antidepressant they were prescribed.

Future Plans: A number of analyses to investigate the genetic architecture of depression and common comorbidities will be conducted. The cohort will contribute to the global effort to identify genetic variants that increase risk to depression. Furthermore, a thorough investigation of genetic and psychosocial predictors of antidepressant response and side effects is planned.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-032580DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7259831PMC
May 2020

The genetic architecture of the human cerebral cortex.

Science 2020 03;367(6484)

The cerebral cortex underlies our complex cognitive capabilities, yet little is known about the specific genetic loci that influence human cortical structure. To identify genetic variants that affect cortical structure, we conducted a genome-wide association meta-analysis of brain magnetic resonance imaging data from 51,665 individuals. We analyzed the surface area and average thickness of the whole cortex and 34 regions with known functional specializations. We identified 199 significant loci and found significant enrichment for loci influencing total surface area within regulatory elements that are active during prenatal cortical development, supporting the radial unit hypothesis. Loci that affect regional surface area cluster near genes in Wnt signaling pathways, which influence progenitor expansion and areal identity. Variation in cortical structure is genetically correlated with cognitive function, Parkinson's disease, insomnia, depression, neuroticism, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aay6690DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7295264PMC
March 2020

Classical Human Leukocyte Antigen Alleles and C4 Haplotypes Are Not Significantly Associated With Depression.

Biol Psychiatry 2020 03 5;87(5):419-430. Epub 2019 Aug 5.

Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, Germany.

Background: The prevalence of depression is higher in individuals with autoimmune diseases, but the mechanisms underlying the observed comorbidities are unknown. Shared genetic etiology is a plausible explanation for the overlap, and in this study we tested whether genetic variation in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), which is associated with risk for autoimmune diseases, is also associated with risk for depression.

Methods: We fine-mapped the classical MHC (chr6: 29.6-33.1 Mb), imputing 216 human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles and 4 complement component 4 (C4) haplotypes in studies from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium Major Depressive Disorder Working Group and the UK Biobank. The total sample size was 45,149 depression cases and 86,698 controls. We tested for association between depression status and imputed MHC variants, applying both a region-wide significance threshold (3.9 × 10) and a candidate threshold (1.6 × 10).

Results: No HLA alleles or C4 haplotypes were associated with depression at the region-wide threshold. HLA-B*08:01 was associated with modest protection for depression at the candidate threshold for testing in HLA genes in the meta-analysis (odds ratio = 0.98, 95% confidence interval = 0.97-0.99).

Conclusions: We found no evidence that an increased risk for depression was conferred by HLA alleles, which play a major role in the genetic susceptibility to autoimmune diseases, or C4 haplotypes, which are strongly associated with schizophrenia. These results suggest that any HLA or C4 variants associated with depression either are rare or have very modest effect sizes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2019.06.031DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7001040PMC
March 2020

An Update of Twin Research in Spain: The Murcia Twin Registry.

Twin Res Hum Genet 2019 12 10;22(6):667-671. Epub 2019 Sep 10.

Department of Human Anatomy and Psychobiology, University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain.

The Murcia Twin Registry (MTR) is the only population-based registry in Spain. Created in 2006, the registry has been growing more than a decade to become one of the references for twin research in the Mediterranean region. The MTR database currently comprises 3545 adult participants born between 1940 and 1977. It also holds a recently launched satellite registry of university students (N = 204). Along five waves of data collection, the registry has gathered questionnaire and anthropometric data, as well as biological samples. The MTR keeps its main research focus on health and health-related behaviors from a public health perspective. This includes lifestyle, health promotion, quality of life or environmental conditions. Future short-term development points to the expansion of the biobank and the continuation of the collection of longitudinal data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/thg.2019.60DOI Listing
December 2019

Neuroticism as a Predictor of Frailty in Old Age: A Genetically Informative Approach.

Psychosom Med 2019 Nov/Dec;81(9):799-807

From the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Danielsdottir, Jylhävä, Hägg, Lu, Pedersen, Mosing, Lehto), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; Department of Genetics and Computational Biology (Colodro-Conde, Martin), QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Australia; Department of Neuroscience (Mosing), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; and Department of Chronic Diseases (Lehto), Institute for Health Development, Tallinn, Estonia.

Objective: Neuroticism is associated with poor health outcomes, but its contribution to the accumulation of health deficits in old age, that is, the frailty index, is largely unknown. We aimed to explore associations between neuroticism and frailty cross-sectionally and longitudinally, and to investigate the contribution of shared genetic influences.

Methods: Data were derived from the UK Biobank (UKB; n = 274,951), the Australian Over 50's Study (AO50; n = 2849), and the Swedish Twin Registry (Screening Across the Lifespan of Twins Study [SALT], n = 18,960; The Swedish Adoption/Twin Study of Aging [SATSA], n = 1365). Associations between neuroticism and the frailty index were investigated using regression analysis cross-sectionally in UKB, AO50, and SATSA and longitudinally in SALT (25-29 years of follow-up) and SATSA (6 and 23 years of follow-up). The co-twin control method was applied to explore the contribution of underlying shared familial factors (SALT, SATSA, AO50). Genome-wide polygenic risk scores for neuroticism were used in all samples to further assess whether common genetic variants associated with neuroticism predict frailty.

Results: High neuroticism was consistently associated with greater frailty cross-sectionally (adjusted β [95% confidence intervals] in UKB = 0.32 [0.32-0.33]; AO50 = 0.35 [0.31-0.39]; SATSA = 0.33 [0.27-0.39]) and longitudinally up to 29 years (SALT = 0.24 [0.22-0.25]; SATSA 6 years = 0.31 [0.24-0.38]; SATSA 23 years = 0.16 [0.07-0.25]). When adjusting for underlying shared genetic and environmental factors, the neuroticism-frailty association remained significant, although decreased. Polygenic risk scores for neuroticism significantly predicted frailty in the two larger samples (meta-analyzed total β = 0.059 [0.055-0.062]).

Conclusions: Neuroticism in midlife predicts frailty in late life. Neuroticism may have a causal influence on frailty, whereas both environmental and genetic influences, including neuroticism-associated common genetic variants, contribute to this relationship.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0000000000000742DOI Listing
August 2020

The psychosocial impact of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy as a predictor of postpartum depression.

J Health Psychol 2021 06 27;26(7):1061-1072. Epub 2019 Jun 27.

QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Australia.

This study examined the extent to which psychosocial impact of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy predicts postpartum depression using a retrospective design. Data from a cross-sectional survey investigating women's experiences of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy were used ( = 861). Hierarchical logistic regression models revealed that the psychosocial impact of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy appears to be predictive of postpartum depression, independent of depression status before and during pregnancy. Our findings indicate that assessing the psychosocial impact of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy during antenatal care may identify women at risk of postpartum depression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1359105319859048DOI Listing
June 2021

Personality-obesity associations are driven by narrow traits: A meta-analysis.

Obes Rev 2019 08 15;20(8):1121-1131. Epub 2019 Apr 15.

Institute of Psychology, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia.

Obesity has inconsistent associations with broad personality domains, possibly because the links pertain to only some facets of these domains. Collating published and unpublished studies (N = 14 848), we meta-analysed the associations between body mass index (BMI) and Five-Factor Model personality domains as well as 30 Five-Factor Model personality facets. At the domain level, BMI had a positive association with Neuroticism and a negative association with Conscientiousness domains. At the facet level, we found associations between BMI and 15 facets from all five personality domains, with only some Neuroticism and Conscientiousness facets among them. Certain personality-BMI associations were moderated by sample properties, such as proportions of women or participants with obesity; these moderation effects were replicated in the individual-level analysis. Finally, facet-based personality "risk" scores accounted for 2.3% of variance in BMI in a separate sample of individuals (N = 3569), 409% more than domain-based scores. Taken together, personality-BMI associations are facet specific, and delineating them may help to explain obesity-related behaviours and inform intervention designs. Preprint and data are available at https://psyarxiv.com/z35vn/.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/obr.12856DOI Listing
August 2019

Genome wide analysis for mouth ulcers identifies associations at immune regulatory loci.

Nat Commun 2019 03 5;10(1):1052. Epub 2019 Mar 5.

Medical Research Council Integrative Epidemiology Unit, Department of Population Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 2BN, UK.

Mouth ulcers are the most common ulcerative condition and encompass several clinical diagnoses, including recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS). Despite previous evidence for heritability, it is not clear which specific genetic loci are implicated in RAS. In this genome-wide association study (n = 461,106) heritability is estimated at 8.2% (95% CI: 6.4%, 9.9%). This study finds 97 variants which alter the odds of developing non-specific mouth ulcers and replicate these in an independent cohort (n = 355,744) (lead variant after meta-analysis: rs76830965, near IL12A, OR 0.72 (95% CI: 0.71, 0.73); P = 4.4e-483). Additional effect estimates from three independent cohorts with more specific phenotyping and specific study characteristics support many of these findings. In silico functional analyses provide evidence for a role of T cell regulation in the aetiology of mouth ulcers. These results provide novel insight into the pathogenesis of a common, important condition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-08923-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6400940PMC
March 2019

Social Competence in Parents Increases Children's Educational Attainment: Replicable Genetically-Mediated Effects of Parenting Revealed by Non-Transmitted DNA.

Twin Res Hum Genet 2019 02 21;22(1):1-3. Epub 2019 Jan 21.

Virginia Institute of Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics,Virginia Commonwealth University,Richmond, VA,USA.

We recently reported an association of offspring educational attainment with polygenic risk scores (PRS) computed on parent's non-transmitted alleles for educational attainment using the second GWAS meta-analysis article on educational attainment published by the Social Science Genetic Association Consortium. Here we test the replication of these findings using a more powerful PRS from the third GWAS meta-analysis article by the Consortium. Each of the key findings of our previous paper is replicated using this improved PRS (N = 2335 adolescent twins and their genotyped parents). The association of children's attainment with their own PRS increased substantially with the standardized effect size, moving from β = 0.134, 95% CI = 0.079, 0.188 for EA2, to β = 0.223, 95% CI = 0.169, 0.278, p < .001, for EA3. Parent's PRS again predicted the socioeconomic status (SES) they provided to their offspring and increased from β = 0.201, 95% CI = 0.147, 0.256 to β = 0.286, 95% CI = 0.239, 0.333. Importantly, the PRS for alleles not transmitted to their offspring - therefore acting via the parenting environment - was increased in effect size from β = 0.058, 95% CI = 0.003, 0.114 to β = 0.067, 95% CI = 0.012, 0.122, p = .016. As previously found, this non-transmitted genetic effect was fully accounted for by parental SES. The findings reinforce the conclusion that genetic effects of parenting are substantial, explain approximately one-third the magnitude of an individual's own genetic inheritance and are mediated by parental socioeconomic competence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/thg.2018.75DOI Listing
February 2019

Shared and specific genetic risk factors for lifetime major depression, depressive symptoms and neuroticism in three population-based twin samples.

Psychol Med 2019 12 19;49(16):2745-2753. Epub 2018 Dec 19.

Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Richmond, VA, USA.

Background: Vulnerability to depression can be measured in different ways. We here examine how genetic risk factors are inter-related for lifetime major depression (MD), self-report current depressive symptoms and the personality trait Neuroticism.

Method: We obtained data from three population-based adult twin samples (Virginia n = 4672, Australia #1 n = 3598 and Australia #2 n = 1878) to which we fitted a common factor model where risk for 'broadly defined depression' was indexed by (i) lifetime MD assessed at personal interview, (ii) depressive symptoms, and (iii) neuroticism. We examined the proportion of genetic risk for MD deriving from the common factor v. specific to MD in each sample and then analyzed them jointly. Structural equation modeling was conducted in Mx.

Results: The best fit models in all samples included additive genetic and unique environmental effects. The proportion of genetic effects unique to lifetime MD and not shared with the broad depression common factor in the three samples were estimated as 77, 61, and 65%, respectively. A cross-sample mega-analysis model fit well and estimated that 65% of the genetic risk for MD was unique.

Conclusion: A large proportion of genetic risk factors for lifetime MD was not, in the samples studied, captured by a common factor for broadly defined depression utilizing MD and self-report measures of current depressive symptoms and Neuroticism. The genetic substrate for MD may reflect neurobiological processes underlying the episodic nature of its cognitive, motor and neurovegetative manifestations, which are not well indexed by current depressive symptom and neuroticism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S003329171800377XDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6584059PMC
December 2019

Personality characteristics below facets: A replication and meta-analysis of cross-rater agreement, rank-order stability, heritability, and utility of personality nuances.

J Pers Soc Psychol 2019 Oct 26;117(4):e35-e50. Epub 2018 Jul 26.

Department of Psychiatry.

Mõttus and colleagues (2017) reported evidence that the unique variance in specific personality characteristics captured by single descriptive items often displayed trait-like properties of cross-rater agreement, rank-order stability, and heritability. They suggested that the personality hierarchy should be extended below facets to incorporate these specific characteristics, called personality nuances. The present study attempted to replicate these findings, employing data from 6,287 individuals from 6 countries (Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Japan, and United States). The same personality measure-240-item Revised NEO Personality Inventory-and statistical procedures were used. The present findings closely replicated the original results. When the original and current results were meta-analyzed, the unique variance of nearly all items (i.e., items' scores residualized for all broader personality traits) showed statistically significant cross-rater agreement (median = .12) and rank-order stability over an average of 12 years (median = .24), and the unique variance of the majority of items had a significant heritable component (median = .14). These 3 item properties were intercorrelated, suggesting that items systematically differed in the degree of reflecting valid unique variance. Also, associations of items' unique variance with age, gender, and body mass index (BMI) replicated across samples and tracked with the original findings. Moreover, associations between item residuals and BMI obtained from one group of people allowed for a significant incremental prediction of BMI in an independent sample. Overall, these findings reinforce the hypotheses that nuances constitute the building blocks of the personality trait hierarchy, their properties are robust and they can be useful. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pspp0000202DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6348042PMC
October 2019

Association of current and former smoking with body mass index: A study of smoking discordant twin pairs from 21 twin cohorts.

PLoS One 2018 12;13(7):e0200140. Epub 2018 Jul 12.

Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway.

Background: Smokers tend to weigh less than never smokers, while successful quitting leads to an increase in body weight. Because smokers and non-smokers may differ in genetic and environmental family background, we analysed data from twin pairs in which the co-twins differed by their smoking behaviour to evaluate if the association between smoking and body mass index (BMI) remains after controlling for family background.

Methods And Findings: The international CODATwins database includes information on smoking and BMI measured between 1960 and 2012 from 156,593 twin individuals 18-69 years of age. Individual-based data (230,378 measurements) and data of smoking discordant twin pairs (altogether 30,014 pairwise measurements, 36% from monozygotic [MZ] pairs) were analysed with linear fixed-effects regression models by 10-year periods. In MZ pairs, the smoking co-twin had, on average, 0.57 kg/m2 lower BMI in men (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.49, 0.70) and 0.65 kg/m2 lower BMI in women (95% CI: 0.52, 0.79) than the never smoking co-twin. Former smokers had 0.70 kg/m2 higher BMI among men (95% CI: 0.63, 0.78) and 0.62 kg/m2 higher BMI among women (95% CI: 0.51, 0.73) than their currently smoking MZ co-twins. Little difference in BMI was observed when comparing former smoking co-twins with their never smoking MZ co-twins (0.13 kg/m2, 95% CI 0.04, 0.23 among men; -0.04 kg/m2, 95% CI -0.16, 0.09 among women). The associations were similar within dizygotic pairs and when analysing twins as individuals. The observed series of cross-sectional associations were independent of sex, age, and measurement decade.

Conclusions: Smoking is associated with lower BMI and smoking cessation with higher BMI. However, the net effect of smoking and subsequent cessation on weight development appears to be minimal, i.e. never more than an average of 0.7 kg/m2.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0200140PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6042712PMC
January 2019

Association Between Population Density and Genetic Risk for Schizophrenia.

JAMA Psychiatry 2018 09;75(9):901-910

QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Australia.

Importance: Urban life has been proposed as an environmental risk factor accounting for the increased prevalence of schizophrenia in urban areas. An alternative hypothesis is that individuals with increased genetic risk tend to live in urban/dense areas.

Objective: To assess whether adults with higher genetic risk for schizophrenia have an increased probability to live in more populated areas than those with lower risk.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Four large, cross-sectional samples of genotyped individuals of European ancestry older than 18 years with known addresses in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands were included in the analysis. Data were based on the postcode of residence at the time of last contact with the participants. Community-based samples who took part in studies conducted by the Queensland Institute for Medical Research Berghofer Medical Research Institute (QIMR), UK Biobank (UKB), Netherlands Twin Register (NTR), or QSkin Sun and Health Study (QSKIN) were included. Genome-wide association analysis and mendelian randomization (MR) were included. The study was conducted between 2016 and 2018.

Exposures: Polygenic risk scores for schizophrenia derived from genetic data (genetic risk is independently measured from the occurrence of the disease). Socioeconomic status of the area was included as a moderator in some of the models.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Population density of the place of residence of the participants determined from census data. Remoteness and socioeconomic status of the area were also tested.

Results: The QIMR participants (15 544; 10 197 [65.6%] women; mean [SD] age, 54.4 [13.2] years) living in more densely populated areas (people per square kilometer) had a higher genetic loading for schizophrenia (r2 = 0.12%; P = 5.69 × 10-5), a result that was replicated across all 3 other cohorts (UKB: 345 246; 187 469 [54.3%] women; age, 65.7 [8.0] years; NTR: 11 212; 6727 [60.0%] women; age, 48.6 [17.5] years; and QSKIN: 15 726; 8602 [54.7%] women; age, 57.0 [7.9] years). This genetic association could account for 1.7% (95% CI, 0.8%-3.2%) of the schizophrenia risk. Estimates from MR analyses performed in the UKB sample were significant (b = 0.049; P = 3.7 × 10-7 using GSMR), suggesting that the genetic liability to schizophrenia may have a causal association with the tendency to live in urbanized locations.

Conclusions And Relevance: The results of this study appear to support the hypothesis that individuals with increased genetic risk tend to live in urban/dense areas and suggest the need to refine the social stress model for schizophrenia by including genetics as well as possible gene-environment interactions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.1581DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6142911PMC
September 2018

Childhood aggression and the co-occurrence of behavioural and emotional problems: results across ages 3-16 years from multiple raters in six cohorts in the EU-ACTION project.

Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2018 Sep 29;27(9):1105-1121. Epub 2018 May 29.

Netherlands Twin Register, Department of Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, van der Boechorststraat 1, 1081 BT, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Childhood aggression and its resulting consequences inflict a huge burden on affected children, their relatives, teachers, peers and society as a whole. Aggression during childhood rarely occurs in isolation and is correlated with other symptoms of childhood psychopathology. In this paper, we aim to describe and improve the understanding of the co-occurrence of aggression with other forms of childhood psychopathology. We focus on the co-occurrence of aggression and other childhood behavioural and emotional problems, including other externalising problems, attention problems and anxiety-depression. The data were brought together within the EU-ACTION (Aggression in Children: unravelling gene-environment interplay to inform Treatment and InterventiON strategies) project. We analysed the co-occurrence of aggression and other childhood behavioural and emotional problems as a function of the child's age (ages 3 through 16 years), gender, the person rating the behaviour (father, mother or self) and assessment instrument. The data came from six large population-based European cohort studies from the Netherlands (2x), the UK, Finland and Sweden (2x). Multiple assessment instruments, including the Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL), the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and Multidimensional Peer Nomination Inventory (MPNI), were used. There was a good representation of boys and girls in each age category, with data for 30,523 3- to 4-year-olds (49.5% boys), 20,958 5- to 6-year-olds (49.6% boys), 18,291 7- to 8-year-olds (49.0% boys), 27,218 9- to 10-year-olds (49.4% boys), 18,543 12- to 13-year-olds (48.9% boys) and 10,088 15- to 16-year-olds (46.6% boys). We replicated the well-established gender differences in average aggression scores at most ages for parental ratings. The gender differences decreased with age and were not present for self-reports. Aggression co-occurred with the majority of other behavioural and social problems, from both externalising and internalising domains. At each age, the co-occurrence was particularly prevalent for aggression and oppositional and ADHD-related problems, with correlations of around 0.5 in general. Aggression also showed substantial associations with anxiety-depression and other internalizing symptoms (correlations around 0.4). Co-occurrence for self-reported problems was somewhat higher than for parental reports, but we found neither rater differences, nor differences across assessment instruments in co-occurrence patterns. There were large similarities in co-occurrence patterns across the different European countries. Finally, co-occurrence was generally stable across age and sex, and if any change was observed, it indicated stronger correlations when children grew older. We present an online tool to visualise these associations as a function of rater, gender, instrument and cohort. In addition, we present a description of the full EU-ACTION projects, its first results and the future perspectives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00787-018-1169-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6133086PMC
September 2018

Childhood aggression and the co-occurrence of behavioural and emotional problems: results across ages 3-16 years from multiple raters in six cohorts in the EU-ACTION project.

Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2018 Sep 29;27(9):1105-1121. Epub 2018 May 29.

Netherlands Twin Register, Department of Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, van der Boechorststraat 1, 1081 BT, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Childhood aggression and its resulting consequences inflict a huge burden on affected children, their relatives, teachers, peers and society as a whole. Aggression during childhood rarely occurs in isolation and is correlated with other symptoms of childhood psychopathology. In this paper, we aim to describe and improve the understanding of the co-occurrence of aggression with other forms of childhood psychopathology. We focus on the co-occurrence of aggression and other childhood behavioural and emotional problems, including other externalising problems, attention problems and anxiety-depression. The data were brought together within the EU-ACTION (Aggression in Children: unravelling gene-environment interplay to inform Treatment and InterventiON strategies) project. We analysed the co-occurrence of aggression and other childhood behavioural and emotional problems as a function of the child's age (ages 3 through 16 years), gender, the person rating the behaviour (father, mother or self) and assessment instrument. The data came from six large population-based European cohort studies from the Netherlands (2x), the UK, Finland and Sweden (2x). Multiple assessment instruments, including the Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL), the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and Multidimensional Peer Nomination Inventory (MPNI), were used. There was a good representation of boys and girls in each age category, with data for 30,523 3- to 4-year-olds (49.5% boys), 20,958 5- to 6-year-olds (49.6% boys), 18,291 7- to 8-year-olds (49.0% boys), 27,218 9- to 10-year-olds (49.4% boys), 18,543 12- to 13-year-olds (48.9% boys) and 10,088 15- to 16-year-olds (46.6% boys). We replicated the well-established gender differences in average aggression scores at most ages for parental ratings. The gender differences decreased with age and were not present for self-reports. Aggression co-occurred with the majority of other behavioural and social problems, from both externalising and internalising domains. At each age, the co-occurrence was particularly prevalent for aggression and oppositional and ADHD-related problems, with correlations of around 0.5 in general. Aggression also showed substantial associations with anxiety-depression and other internalizing symptoms (correlations around 0.4). Co-occurrence for self-reported problems was somewhat higher than for parental reports, but we found neither rater differences, nor differences across assessment instruments in co-occurrence patterns. There were large similarities in co-occurrence patterns across the different European countries. Finally, co-occurrence was generally stable across age and sex, and if any change was observed, it indicated stronger correlations when children grew older. We present an online tool to visualise these associations as a function of rater, gender, instrument and cohort. In addition, we present a description of the full EU-ACTION projects, its first results and the future perspectives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00787-018-1169-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6133086PMC
September 2018

Genetic and environmental influences to low back pain and symptoms of depression and anxiety: A population-based twin study.

J Psychosom Res 2018 02 6;105:92-98. Epub 2017 Dec 6.

Department of Human Anatomy and Psychobiology, Biomedical Research Institute of Murcia (IMIB-Arrixaca-UMU), University Clinical Hospital "Virgen de la Arrixaca", University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain.

Background: People suffering from chronic pain are more likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety. However, the mechanisms underlying this relationship remain largely unknown. In light of the moderate to large effects of genetic factors on chronic pain and depression and anxiety, we aimed to estimate the relative contribution of genetic and environmental factors to the relationship between these traits.

Methods: Using data from 2139 participants in the Murcia Twin Registry, we employed a bivariate analysis and structural equation modeling to estimate the relative influences of genetics and the environment on the covariation between low back pain and symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Results: We have obtained heritability estimates of 0.26 (95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.11, 0.41) for chronic low back pain and 0.45 (95% CI 0.29, 0.50) for symptoms of depression and anxiety. The phenotypic, genetic, and unique environment correlations in the bivariate analytical model were, respectively, r=0.26 (95% CI 0.19, 0.33); r=0.47 (95% CI 0.42, 0.70); r=0.14 (95% CI -0.04, 0.25). The percentage of covariance between low back pain and symptoms of depression and anxiety attributable to additive genetic factors was 63.6%, and to unique environment 36.4%.

Conclusions: Our findings confirm the relationship between low back pain and symptoms of depression and anxiety in a non-clinical sample. Shared genetic factors affect significantly the covariation between these conditions, supporting the role of common biological and physiological pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychores.2017.12.007DOI Listing
February 2018
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