Publications by authors named "Stephan Ripke"

149 Publications

A genome-wide association study with 1,126,563 individuals identifies new risk loci for Alzheimer's disease.

Nat Genet 2021 Sep 7;53(9):1276-1282. Epub 2021 Sep 7.

Division of Genetic Medicine, Department of Medicine Vanderbilt University Medical Center Nashville, Nashville, TN, USA.

Late-onset Alzheimer's disease is a prevalent age-related polygenic disease that accounts for 50-70% of dementia cases. Currently, only a fraction of the genetic variants underlying Alzheimer's disease have been identified. Here we show that increased sample sizes allowed identification of seven previously unidentified genetic loci contributing to Alzheimer's disease. This study highlights microglia, immune cells and protein catabolism as relevant to late-onset Alzheimer's disease, while identifying and prioritizing previously unidentified genes of potential interest. We anticipate that these results can be included in larger meta-analyses of Alzheimer's disease to identify further genetic variants that contribute to Alzheimer's pathology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-021-00921-zDOI Listing
September 2021

Increased risk of severe clinical course of COVID-19 in carriers of HLA-C*04:01.

EClinicalMedicine 2021 Sep 2:101099. Epub 2021 Sep 2.

Kantonsspital Baden AG, Department of Medicine, Baden, CH 5404, Switzerland.

Background: Since the beginning of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, there has been increasing urgency to identify pathophysiological characteristics leading to severe clinical course in patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Human leukocyte antigen alleles (HLA) have been suggested as potential genetic host factors that affect individual immune response to SARS-CoV-2. We sought to evaluate this hypothesis by conducting a multicenter study using HLA sequencing.

Methods: We analyzed the association between COVID-19 severity and HLAs in 435 individuals from Germany ( = 135), Spain ( = 133), Switzerland ( = 20) and the United States ( = 147), who had been enrolled from March 2020 to August 2020. This study included patients older than 18 years, diagnosed with COVID-19 and representing the full spectrum of the disease. Finally, we tested our results by meta-analysing data from prior genome-wide association studies (GWAS).

Findings: We describe a potential association of HLA-C*04:01 with severe clinical course of COVID-19. Carriers of HLA-C*04:01 had twice the risk of intubation when infected with SARS-CoV-2 (risk ratio 1.5 [95% CI 1.1-2.1], odds ratio 3.5 [95% CI 1.9-6.6], adjusted -value = 0.0074). These findings are based on data from four countries and corroborated by independent results from GWAS. Our findings are biologically plausible, as HLA-C*04:01 has fewer predicted bindings sites for relevant SARS-CoV-2 peptides compared to other HLA alleles.

Interpretation: HLA-C*04:01 carrier state is associated with severe clinical course in SARS-CoV-2. Our findings suggest that HLA class I alleles have a relevant role in immune defense against SARS-CoV-2.

Funding: Funded by Roche Sequencing Solutions, Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eclinm.2021.101099DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8410317PMC
September 2021

Investigation of convergent and divergent genetic influences underlying schizophrenia and alcohol use disorder.

Psychol Med 2021 Jul 7:1-9. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO, USA.

Background: Alcohol use disorder (AUD) and schizophrenia (SCZ) frequently co-occur, and large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified significant genetic correlations between these disorders.

Methods: We used the largest published GWAS for AUD (total cases = 77 822) and SCZ (total cases = 46 827) to identify genetic variants that influence both disorders (with either the same or opposite direction of effect) and those that are disorder specific.

Results: We identified 55 independent genome-wide significant single nucleotide polymorphisms with the same direction of effect on AUD and SCZ, 8 with robust effects in opposite directions, and 98 with disorder-specific effects. We also found evidence for 12 genes whose pleiotropic associations with AUD and SCZ are consistent with mediation via gene expression in the prefrontal cortex. The genetic covariance between AUD and SCZ was concentrated in genomic regions functional in brain tissues (p = 0.001).

Conclusions: Our findings provide further evidence that SCZ shares meaningful genetic overlap with AUD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S003329172100266XDOI Listing
July 2021

Genome-wide association study of more than 40,000 bipolar disorder cases provides new insights into the underlying biology.

Nat Genet 2021 06 17;53(6):817-829. Epub 2021 May 17.

Department of Neuroscience, Istituto Di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCS, Milan, Italy.

Bipolar disorder is a heritable mental illness with complex etiology. We performed a genome-wide association study of 41,917 bipolar disorder cases and 371,549 controls of European ancestry, which identified 64 associated genomic loci. Bipolar disorder risk alleles were enriched in genes in synaptic signaling pathways and brain-expressed genes, particularly those with high specificity of expression in neurons of the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Significant signal enrichment was found in genes encoding targets of antipsychotics, calcium channel blockers, antiepileptics and anesthetics. Integrating expression quantitative trait locus data implicated 15 genes robustly linked to bipolar disorder via gene expression, encoding druggable targets such as HTR6, MCHR1, DCLK3 and FURIN. Analyses of bipolar disorder subtypes indicated high but imperfect genetic correlation between bipolar disorder type I and II and identified additional associated loci. Together, these results advance our understanding of the biological etiology of bipolar disorder, identify novel therapeutic leads and prioritize genes for functional follow-up studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-021-00857-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8192451PMC
June 2021

Genome-wide analyses of smoking behaviors in schizophrenia: Findings from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium.

J Psychiatr Res 2021 05 18;137:215-224. Epub 2021 Feb 18.

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA; VA New York Harbor Healthcare System, Brooklyn, NY, USA. Electronic address:

While 17% of US adults use tobacco regularly, smoking rates among persons with schizophrenia are upwards of 60%. Research supports a shared etiological basis for smoking and schizophrenia, including findings from genome-wide association studies (GWAS). However, few studies have directly tested whether the same or distinct genetic variants also influence smoking behavior among schizophrenia cases. Using data from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) study of schizophrenia (35476 cases, 46839 controls), we estimated genetic correlations between these traits and tested whether polygenic risk scores (PRS) constructed from the results of smoking behaviors GWAS were associated with schizophrenia risk or smoking behaviors among schizophrenia cases. Results indicated significant genetic correlations of schizophrenia with smoking initiation (r = 0.159; P = 5.05 × 10), cigarettes-smoked-per-day (r = 0.094; P = 0.006), and age-of-onset of smoking (r = 0.10; P = 0.009). Comparing smoking behaviors among schizophrenia cases to the general population, we observe positive genetic correlations for smoking initiation (r = 0.624, P = 0.002) and cigarettes-smoked-per-day (r = 0.689, P = 0.120). Similarly, TAG-based PRS for smoking initiation and cigarettes-smoked-per-day were significantly associated with smoking initiation (P = 3.49 × 10) and cigarettes-smoked-per-day (P = 0.007) among schizophrenia cases. We performed the first GWAS of smoking behavior among schizophrenia cases and identified a novel association with cigarettes-smoked-per-day upstream of the TMEM106B gene on chromosome 7p21.3 (rs148253479, P = 3.18 × 10, n = 3520). Results provide evidence of a partially shared genetic basis for schizophrenia and smoking behaviors. Additionally, genetic risk factors for smoking behaviors were largely shared across schizophrenia and non-schizophrenia populations. Future research should address mechanisms underlying these associations to aid both schizophrenia and smoking treatment and prevention efforts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2021.02.027DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8096167PMC
May 2021

Polygenic risk for schizophrenia and schizotypal traits in non-clinical subjects.

Psychol Med 2020 Aug 6:1-11. Epub 2020 Aug 6.

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Philipps-University and University Hospital Marburg, UKGM, Rudolf-Bultmann-Str. 8, 35039Marburg, Germany.

Background: Schizotypy is a putative risk phenotype for psychosis liability, but the overlap of its genetic architecture with schizophrenia is poorly understood.

Methods: We tested the hypothesis that dimensions of schizotypy (assessed with the SPQ-B) are associated with a polygenic risk score (PRS) for schizophrenia in a sample of 623 psychiatrically healthy, non-clinical subjects from the FOR2107 multi-centre study and a second sample of 1133 blood donors.

Results: We did not find correlations of schizophrenia PRS with either overall SPQ or specific dimension scores, nor with adjusted schizotypy scores derived from the SPQ (addressing inter-scale variance). Also, PRS for affective disorders (bipolar disorder and major depression) were not significantly associated with schizotypy.

Conclusions: This important negative finding demonstrates that despite the hypothesised continuum of schizotypy and schizophrenia, schizotypy might share less genetic risk with schizophrenia than previously assumed (and possibly less compared to psychotic-like experiences).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0033291720002822DOI Listing
August 2020

Genetic comorbidity between major depression and cardio-metabolic traits, stratified by age at onset of major depression.

Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet 2020 09 18;183(6):309-330. Epub 2020 Jul 18.

Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, Germany.

It is imperative to understand the specific and shared etiologies of major depression and cardio-metabolic disease, as both traits are frequently comorbid and each represents a major burden to society. This study examined whether there is a genetic association between major depression and cardio-metabolic traits and if this association is stratified by age at onset for major depression. Polygenic risk scores analysis and linkage disequilibrium score regression was performed to examine whether differences in shared genetic etiology exist between depression case control status (N cases = 40,940, N controls = 67,532), earlier (N = 15,844), and later onset depression (N = 15,800) with body mass index, coronary artery disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes in 11 data sets from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, Generation Scotland, and UK Biobank. All cardio-metabolic polygenic risk scores were associated with depression status. Significant genetic correlations were found between depression and body mass index, coronary artery disease, and type 2 diabetes. Higher polygenic risk for body mass index, coronary artery disease, and type 2 diabetes was associated with both early and later onset depression, while higher polygenic risk for stroke was associated with later onset depression only. Significant genetic correlations were found between body mass index and later onset depression, and between coronary artery disease and both early and late onset depression. The phenotypic associations between major depression and cardio-metabolic traits may partly reflect their overlapping genetic etiology irrespective of the age depression first presents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.b.32807DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7991693PMC
September 2020

The IMAGEN study: a decade of imaging genetics in adolescents.

Mol Psychiatry 2020 11 29;25(11):2648-2671. Epub 2020 Jun 29.

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Charité Mitte, Berlin, Germany.

Imaging genetics offers the possibility of detecting associations between genotype and brain structure as well as function, with effect sizes potentially exceeding correlations between genotype and behavior. However, study results are often limited due to small sample sizes and methodological differences, thus reducing the reliability of findings. The IMAGEN cohort with 2000 young adolescents assessed from the age of 14 onwards tries to eliminate some of these limitations by offering a longitudinal approach and sufficient sample size for analyzing gene-environment interactions on brain structure and function. Here, we give a systematic review of IMAGEN publications since the start of the consortium. We then focus on the specific phenotype 'drug use' to illustrate the potential of the IMAGEN approach. We describe findings with respect to frontocortical, limbic and striatal brain volume, functional activation elicited by reward anticipation, behavioral inhibition, and affective faces, and their respective associations with drug intake. In addition to describing its strengths, we also discuss limitations of the IMAGEN study. Because of the longitudinal design and related attrition, analyses are underpowered for (epi-) genome-wide approaches due to the limited sample size. Estimating the generalizability of results requires replications in independent samples. However, such densely phenotyped longitudinal studies are still rare and alternative internal cross-validation methods (e.g., leave-one out, split-half) are also warranted. In conclusion, the IMAGEN cohort is a unique, very well characterized longitudinal sample, which helped to elucidate neurobiological mechanisms involved in complex behavior and offers the possibility to further disentangle genotype × phenotype interactions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-020-0822-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7577859PMC
November 2020

Shared genetic risk between eating disorder- and substance-use-related phenotypes: Evidence from genome-wide association studies.

Addict Biol 2021 01 16;26(1):e12880. Epub 2020 Feb 16.

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.

Eating disorders and substance use disorders frequently co-occur. Twin studies reveal shared genetic variance between liabilities to eating disorders and substance use, with the strongest associations between symptoms of bulimia nervosa and problem alcohol use (genetic correlation [r ], twin-based = 0.23-0.53). We estimated the genetic correlation between eating disorder and substance use and disorder phenotypes using data from genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Four eating disorder phenotypes (anorexia nervosa [AN], AN with binge eating, AN without binge eating, and a bulimia nervosa factor score), and eight substance-use-related phenotypes (drinks per week, alcohol use disorder [AUD], smoking initiation, current smoking, cigarettes per day, nicotine dependence, cannabis initiation, and cannabis use disorder) from eight studies were included. Significant genetic correlations were adjusted for variants associated with major depressive disorder and schizophrenia. Total study sample sizes per phenotype ranged from ~2400 to ~537 000 individuals. We used linkage disequilibrium score regression to calculate single nucleotide polymorphism-based genetic correlations between eating disorder- and substance-use-related phenotypes. Significant positive genetic associations emerged between AUD and AN (r = 0.18; false discovery rate q = 0.0006), cannabis initiation and AN (r = 0.23; q < 0.0001), and cannabis initiation and AN with binge eating (r = 0.27; q = 0.0016). Conversely, significant negative genetic correlations were observed between three nondiagnostic smoking phenotypes (smoking initiation, current smoking, and cigarettes per day) and AN without binge eating (r = -0.19 to -0.23; qs < 0.04). The genetic correlation between AUD and AN was no longer significant after co-varying for major depressive disorder loci. The patterns of association between eating disorder- and substance-use-related phenotypes highlights the potentially complex and substance-specific relationships among these behaviors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/adb.12880DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7429266PMC
January 2021

Migraine polygenic risk score associates with efficacy of migraine-specific drugs.

Neurol Genet 2019 Dec 24;5(6):e364. Epub 2019 Oct 24.

Danish Headache Center (L.J.A.K., A.-L.E., A.F.C., O.B.D., J.O., T.F.H.), Department of Neurology, Rigshospitalet Glostrup, Denmark; Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (S.A., S.R.), Charité-Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Germany; Analytic and Translational Genetics Unit (S.R.), Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research (S.R.), Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA; Mental Health Centre Sct Hans (A.I.), Institute of Biological Psychiatry, Roskilde; Department of Clinical Immunology (C.E.), Aarhus University Hospital; Department of Epidemiology Research (H.H.), Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen; and Department of Clinical Immunology (H.U.), the Blood Bank, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark.

Objective: To assess whether the polygenic risk score (PRS) for migraine is associated with acute and/or prophylactic migraine treatment response.

Methods: We interviewed 2,219 unrelated patients at the Danish Headache Center using a semistructured interview to diagnose migraine and assess acute and prophylactic drug response. All patients were genotyped. A PRS was calculated with the linkage disequilibrium pred algorithm using summary statistics from the most recent migraine genome-wide association study comprising ∼375,000 cases and controls. The PRS was scaled to a unit corresponding to a twofold increase in migraine risk, using 929 unrelated Danish controls as reference. The association of the PRS with treatment response was assessed by logistic regression, and the predictive power of the model by area under the curve using a case-control design with treatment response as outcome.

Results: A twofold increase in migraine risk associates with positive response to migraine-specific acute treatment (odds ratio [OR] = 1.25 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.05-1.49]). The association between migraine risk and migraine-specific acute treatment was replicated in an independent cohort consisting of 5,616 triptan users with prescription history (OR = 3.20 [95% CI = 1.26-8.14]). No association was found for acute treatment with non-migraine-specific weak analgesics and prophylactic treatment response.

Conclusions: The migraine PRS can significantly identify subgroups of patients with a higher-than-average likelihood of a positive response to triptans, which provides a first step toward genetics-based precision medicine in migraine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/NXG.0000000000000364DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6878840PMC
December 2019

Cortical Surfaces Mediate the Relationship Between Polygenic Scores for Intelligence and General Intelligence.

Cereb Cortex 2020 04;30(4):2707-2718

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry, Bloorview Research Institute, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, M6A 2E1, Canada.

Recent large-scale, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified hundreds of genetic loci associated with general intelligence. The cumulative influence of these loci on brain structure is unknown. We examined if cortical morphology mediates the relationship between GWAS-derived polygenic scores for intelligence (PSi) and g-factor. Using the effect sizes from one of the largest GWAS meta-analysis on general intelligence to date, PSi were calculated among 10 P value thresholds. PSi were assessed for the association with g-factor performance, cortical thickness (CT), and surface area (SA) in two large imaging-genetics samples (IMAGEN N = 1651; IntegraMooDS N = 742). PSi explained up to 5.1% of the variance of g-factor in IMAGEN (F1,1640 = 12.2-94.3; P < 0.005), and up to 3.0% in IntegraMooDS (F1,725 = 10.0-21.0; P < 0.005). The association between polygenic scores and g-factor was partially mediated by SA and CT in prefrontal, anterior cingulate, insula, and medial temporal cortices in both samples (PFWER-corrected < 0.005). The variance explained by mediation was up to 0.75% in IMAGEN and 0.77% in IntegraMooDS. Our results provide evidence that cumulative genetic load influences g-factor via cortical structure. The consistency of our results across samples suggests that cortex morphology could be a novel potential biomarker for neurocognitive dysfunction that is among the most intractable psychiatric symptoms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhz270DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7175009PMC
April 2020

Nucleus accumbens connectivity at rest is associated with alcohol consumption in young male adults.

Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 2019 12 18;29(12):1476-1485. Epub 2019 Nov 18.

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy CCM, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health, Berlin, Germany.

Alcohol consumption during adolescence might impede normal brain development, while more excessive drinking during this period poses a risk for developing alcohol use disorder. Here it was tested whether nucleus accumbens (NAcc) resting-state functional connectivity could be associated with lifetime drinking behavior in young adults, and whether it could predict their alcohol consumption during a one-year follow-up period. The current investigation was part of the bicentric Learning and Alcohol Dependence (LeAD) population-based prospective cohort study. One hundred and eighty-four 18-year-old male social drinking volunteers without a lifetime diagnosis of psychotic, bipolar, or alcohol use disorder were recruited from the general population. Seed-based resting-state functional connectivity was calculated for the bilateral NAcc in each participant. Across the group, the association between NAcc functional connectivity and lifetime alcohol consumption was assessed (p < .05, whole-brain FWE-corrected). Individual connectivity values were then extracted from regions that demonstrated a significant association to predict drinking behavior during a one-year follow-up period (n = 143), correcting for lifetime alcohol consumption. Weaker connectivity between the left NAcc and bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, inferior frontal gyrus, left caudate nucleus, left putamen, and left insula was associated with greater lifetime alcohol consumption, as well as with greater alcohol consumption during the one-year follow-up period. Our findings underscore the relevance of fronto-striatal connectivity to the field of alcohol research. Impaired prefrontal cognitive control might mediate excessive drinking behavior and may prove a promising biomarker for risk of future alcohol (ab)use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euroneuro.2019.10.008DOI Listing
December 2019

Comparative genetic architectures of schizophrenia in East Asian and European populations.

Nat Genet 2019 12 18;51(12):1670-1678. Epub 2019 Nov 18.

Psychiatric Genetic Epidemiology and Neurobiology Laboratory (PsychGENe lab), Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY, USA.

Schizophrenia is a debilitating psychiatric disorder with approximately 1% lifetime risk globally. Large-scale schizophrenia genetic studies have reported primarily on European ancestry samples, potentially missing important biological insights. Here, we report the largest study to date of East Asian participants (22,778 schizophrenia cases and 35,362 controls), identifying 21 genome-wide-significant associations in 19 genetic loci. Common genetic variants that confer risk for schizophrenia have highly similar effects between East Asian and European ancestries (genetic correlation = 0.98 ± 0.03), indicating that the genetic basis of schizophrenia and its biology are broadly shared across populations. A fixed-effect meta-analysis including individuals from East Asian and European ancestries identified 208 significant associations in 176 genetic loci (53 novel). Trans-ancestry fine-mapping reduced the sets of candidate causal variants in 44 loci. Polygenic risk scores had reduced performance when transferred across ancestries, highlighting the importance of including sufficient samples of major ancestral groups to ensure their generalizability across populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-019-0512-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6885121PMC
December 2019

Genome-wide association study of panic disorder reveals genetic overlap with neuroticism and depression.

Mol Psychiatry 2019 Nov 11. Epub 2019 Nov 11.

Department of Psychology, Humboldt-University Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Panic disorder (PD) has a lifetime prevalence of 2-4% and heritability estimates of 40%. The contributory genetic variants remain largely unknown, with few and inconsistent loci having been reported. The present report describes the largest genome-wide association study (GWAS) of PD to date comprising genome-wide genotype data of 2248 clinically well-characterized PD patients and 7992 ethnically matched controls. The samples originated from four European countries (Denmark, Estonia, Germany, and Sweden). Standard GWAS quality control procedures were conducted on each individual dataset, and imputation was performed using the 1000 Genomes Project reference panel. A meta-analysis was then performed using the Ricopili pipeline. No genome-wide significant locus was identified. Leave-one-out analyses generated highly significant polygenic risk scores (PRS) (explained variance of up to 2.6%). Linkage disequilibrium (LD) score regression analysis of the GWAS data showed that the estimated heritability for PD was 28.0-34.2%. After correction for multiple testing, a significant genetic correlation was found between PD and major depressive disorder, depressive symptoms, and neuroticism. A total of 255 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with p < 1 × 10 were followed up in an independent sample of 2408 PD patients and 228,470 controls from Denmark, Iceland and the Netherlands. In the combined analysis, SNP rs144783209 showed the strongest association with PD (pcomb = 3.10  × 10). Sign tests revealed a significant enrichment of SNPs with a discovery p-value of <0.0001 in the combined follow up cohort (p = 0.048). The present integrative analysis represents a major step towards the elucidation of the genetic susceptibility to PD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-019-0590-2DOI Listing
November 2019

International meta-analysis of PTSD genome-wide association studies identifies sex- and ancestry-specific genetic risk loci.

Nat Commun 2019 10 8;10(1):4558. Epub 2019 Oct 8.

Durham VA Medical Center, Research, Durham, NC, USA.

The risk of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following trauma is heritable, but robust common variants have yet to be identified. In a multi-ethnic cohort including over 30,000 PTSD cases and 170,000 controls we conduct a genome-wide association study of PTSD. We demonstrate SNP-based heritability estimates of 5-20%, varying by sex. Three genome-wide significant loci are identified, 2 in European and 1 in African-ancestry analyses. Analyses stratified by sex implicate 3 additional loci in men. Along with other novel genes and non-coding RNAs, a Parkinson's disease gene involved in dopamine regulation, PARK2, is associated with PTSD. Finally, we demonstrate that polygenic risk for PTSD is significantly predictive of re-experiencing symptoms in the Million Veteran Program dataset, although specific loci did not replicate. These results demonstrate the role of genetic variation in the biology of risk for PTSD and highlight the necessity of conducting sex-stratified analyses and expanding GWAS beyond European ancestry populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-12576-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6783435PMC
October 2019

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

Pavlovian-To-Instrumental Transfer and Alcohol Consumption in Young Male Social Drinkers: Behavioral, Neural and Polygenic Correlates.

J Clin Med 2019 Aug 8;8(8). Epub 2019 Aug 8.

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 10117 Berlin, Germany.

In animals and humans, behavior can be influenced by irrelevant stimuli, a phenomenon called Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer (PIT). In subjects with substance use disorder, PIT is even enhanced with functional activation in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and amygdala. While we observed enhanced behavioral and neural PIT effects in alcohol-dependent subjects, we here aimed to determine whether behavioral PIT is enhanced in young men with high-risk compared to low-risk drinking and subsequently related functional activation in an a-priori region of interest encompassing the NAcc and amygdala and related to polygenic risk for alcohol consumption. A representative sample of 18-year old men ( = 1937) was contacted: 445 were screened, 209 assessed: resulting in 191 valid behavioral, 139 imaging and 157 genetic datasets. None of the subjects fulfilled criteria for alcohol dependence according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV-TextRevision (DSM-IV-TR). We measured how instrumental responding for rewards was influenced by background Pavlovian conditioned stimuli predicting action-independent rewards and losses. Behavioral PIT was enhanced in high-compared to low-risk drinkers ( = 0.09, = 0.03, = 2.7, < 0.009). Across all subjects, we observed PIT-related neural blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal in the right amygdala ( = 3.25, = 0.04, = 26, = -6, = -12), but not in NAcc. The strength of the behavioral PIT effect was positively correlated with polygenic risk for alcohol consumption ( = 0.17, = 0.032). We conclude that behavioral PIT and polygenic risk for alcohol consumption might be a biomarker for a subclinical phenotype of risky alcohol consumption, even if no drug-related stimulus is present. The association between behavioral PIT effects and the amygdala might point to habitual processes related to out PIT task. In non-dependent young social drinkers, the amygdala rather than the NAcc is activated during PIT; possible different involvement in association with disease trajectory should be investigated in future studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm8081188DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6723486PMC
August 2019

Effects of a neurodevelopmental genes based polygenic risk score for schizophrenia and single gene variants on brain structure in non-clinical subjects: A preliminary report.

Schizophr Res 2019 10 6;212:225-228. Epub 2019 Aug 6.

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Jena University Hospital, Jena, Germany; Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Phillips University Marburg/Marburg University Hospital UKGM, Marburg, Germany. Electronic address:

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.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2019.07.061DOI Listing
October 2019

RICOPILI: Rapid Imputation for COnsortias PIpeLIne.

Bioinformatics 2020 02;36(3):930-933

Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.

Summary: Genome-wide association study (GWAS) analyses, at sufficient sample sizes and power, have successfully revealed biological insights for several complex traits. RICOPILI, an open-sourced Perl-based pipeline was developed to address the challenges of rapidly processing large-scale multi-cohort GWAS studies including quality control (QC), imputation and downstream analyses. The pipeline is computationally efficient with portability to a wide range of high-performance computing environments. RICOPILI was created as the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium pipeline for GWAS and adopted by other users. The pipeline features (i) technical and genomic QC in case-control and trio cohorts, (ii) genome-wide phasing and imputation, (iv) association analysis, (v) meta-analysis, (vi) polygenic risk scoring and (vii) replication analysis. Notably, a major differentiator from other GWAS pipelines, RICOPILI leverages on automated parallelization and cluster job management approaches for rapid production of imputed genome-wide data. A comprehensive meta-analysis of simulated GWAS data has been incorporated demonstrating each step of the pipeline. This includes all the associated visualization plots, to allow ease of data interpretation and manuscript preparation. Simulated GWAS datasets are also packaged with the pipeline for user training tutorials and developer work.

Availability And Implementation: RICOPILI has a flexible architecture to allow for ongoing development and incorporation of newer available algorithms and is adaptable to various HPC environments (QSUB, BSUB, SLURM and others). Specific links for genomic resources are either directly provided in this paper or via tutorials and external links. The central location hosting scripts and tutorials is found at this URL: https://sites.google.com/a/broadinstitute.org/RICOPILI/home.

Supplementary Information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/btz633DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7868045PMC
February 2020

Genome-wide association study identifies eight risk loci and implicates metabo-psychiatric origins for anorexia nervosa.

Nat Genet 2019 08 15;51(8):1207-1214. Epub 2019 Jul 15.

Clinical Genetics Unit, Department of Woman and Child Health, University of Padova, Padova, Italy.

Characterized primarily by a low body-mass index, anorexia nervosa is a complex and serious illness, affecting 0.9-4% of women and 0.3% of men, with twin-based heritability estimates of 50-60%. Mortality rates are higher than those in other psychiatric disorders, and outcomes are unacceptably poor. Here we combine data from the Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative (ANGI) and the Eating Disorders Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC-ED) and conduct a genome-wide association study of 16,992 cases of anorexia nervosa and 55,525 controls, identifying eight significant loci. The genetic architecture of anorexia nervosa mirrors its clinical presentation, showing significant genetic correlations with psychiatric disorders, physical activity, and metabolic (including glycemic), lipid and anthropometric traits, independent of the effects of common variants associated with body-mass index. These results further encourage a reconceptualization of anorexia nervosa as a metabo-psychiatric disorder. Elucidating the metabolic component is a critical direction for future research, and paying attention to both psychiatric and metabolic components may be key to improving outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-019-0439-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6779477PMC
August 2019

Genome-wide association study identifies eight risk loci and implicates metabo-psychiatric origins for anorexia nervosa.

Nat Genet 2019 08 15;51(8):1207-1214. Epub 2019 Jul 15.

Clinical Genetics Unit, Department of Woman and Child Health, University of Padova, Padova, Italy.

Characterized primarily by a low body-mass index, anorexia nervosa is a complex and serious illness, affecting 0.9-4% of women and 0.3% of men, with twin-based heritability estimates of 50-60%. Mortality rates are higher than those in other psychiatric disorders, and outcomes are unacceptably poor. Here we combine data from the Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative (ANGI) and the Eating Disorders Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC-ED) and conduct a genome-wide association study of 16,992 cases of anorexia nervosa and 55,525 controls, identifying eight significant loci. The genetic architecture of anorexia nervosa mirrors its clinical presentation, showing significant genetic correlations with psychiatric disorders, physical activity, and metabolic (including glycemic), lipid and anthropometric traits, independent of the effects of common variants associated with body-mass index. These results further encourage a reconceptualization of anorexia nervosa as a metabo-psychiatric disorder. Elucidating the metabolic component is a critical direction for future research, and paying attention to both psychiatric and metabolic components may be key to improving outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-019-0439-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6779477PMC
August 2019

Genome-wide analyses of psychological resilience in U.S. Army soldiers.

Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet 2019 07 13;180(5):310-319. Epub 2019 May 13.

Department of Psychiatry, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland.

Though a growing body of preclinical and translational research is illuminating a biological basis for resilience to stress, little is known about the genetic basis of psychological resilience in humans. We conducted genome-wide association studies (GWASs) of self-assessed (by questionnaire) and outcome-based (incident mental disorders from predeployment to postdeployment) resilience among European (EUR) ancestry soldiers in the Army study to assess risk and resilience in servicemembers. Self-assessed resilience (N = 11,492) was found to have significant common-variant heritability (h = 0.162, se = 0.050, p = 5.37 × 10 ), and to be significantly negatively genetically correlated with neuroticism (r  = -0.388, p = .0092). GWAS results from the EUR soldiers revealed a genome-wide significant locus on an intergenic region on Chr 4 upstream from doublecortin-like kinase 2 (DCLK2) (four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in LD; top SNP: rs4260523 [p = 5.65 × 10 ] is an eQTL in frontal cortex), a member of the doublecortin family of kinases that promote survival and regeneration of injured neurons. A second gene, kelch-like family member 36 (KLHL36) was detected at gene-wise genome-wide significance [p = 1.89 × 10 ]. A polygenic risk score derived from the self-assessed resilience GWAS was not significantly associated with outcome-based resilience. In very preliminary results, genome-wide significant association with outcome-based resilience was found for one locus (top SNP: rs12580015 [p = 2.37 × 10 ]) on Chr 12 downstream from solute carrier family 15 member 5 (SLC15A5) in subjects (N = 581) exposed to the highest level of deployment stress. The further study of genetic determinants of resilience has the potential to illuminate the molecular bases of stress-related psychopathology and point to new avenues for therapeutic intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.b.32730DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6551278PMC
July 2019

Genome-wide association study identifies 30 loci associated with bipolar disorder.

Nat Genet 2019 05 1;51(5):793-803. Epub 2019 May 1.

Department of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, USA.

Bipolar disorder is a highly heritable psychiatric disorder. We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) including 20,352 cases and 31,358 controls of European descent, with follow-up analysis of 822 variants with P < 1 × 10 in an additional 9,412 cases and 137,760 controls. Eight of the 19 variants that were genome-wide significant (P < 5 × 10) in the discovery GWAS were not genome-wide significant in the combined analysis, consistent with small effect sizes and limited power but also with genetic heterogeneity. In the combined analysis, 30 loci were genome-wide significant, including 20 newly identified loci. The significant loci contain genes encoding ion channels, neurotransmitter transporters and synaptic components. Pathway analysis revealed nine significantly enriched gene sets, including regulation of insulin secretion and endocannabinoid signaling. Bipolar I disorder is strongly genetically correlated with schizophrenia, driven by psychosis, whereas bipolar II disorder is more strongly correlated with major depressive disorder. These findings address key clinical questions and provide potential biological mechanisms for bipolar disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-019-0397-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6956732PMC
May 2019

Identification of common genetic risk variants for autism spectrum disorder.

Nat Genet 2019 03 25;51(3):431-444. Epub 2019 Feb 25.

The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research, iPSYCH, Aarhus, Denmark.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a highly heritable and heterogeneous group of neurodevelopmental phenotypes diagnosed in more than 1% of children. Common genetic variants contribute substantially to ASD susceptibility, but to date no individual variants have been robustly associated with ASD. With a marked sample-size increase from a unique Danish population resource, we report a genome-wide association meta-analysis of 18,381 individuals with ASD and 27,969 controls that identified five genome-wide-significant loci. Leveraging GWAS results from three phenotypes with significantly overlapping genetic architectures (schizophrenia, major depression, and educational attainment), we identified seven additional loci shared with other traits at equally strict significance levels. Dissecting the polygenic architecture, we found both quantitative and qualitative polygenic heterogeneity across ASD subtypes. These results highlight biological insights, particularly relating to neuronal function and corticogenesis, and establish that GWAS performed at scale will be much more productive in the near term in ASD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-019-0344-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6454898PMC
March 2019

Genome-wide meta-analysis of depression identifies 102 independent variants and highlights the importance of the prefrontal brain regions.

Nat Neurosci 2019 03 4;22(3):343-352. Epub 2019 Feb 4.

23andMe, Inc, Mountain View, CA, USA.

Major depression is a debilitating psychiatric illness that is typically associated with low mood and anhedonia. Depression has a heritable component that has remained difficult to elucidate with current sample sizes due to the polygenic nature of the disorder. To maximize sample size, we meta-analyzed data on 807,553 individuals (246,363 cases and 561,190 controls) from the three largest genome-wide association studies of depression. We identified 102 independent variants, 269 genes, and 15 genesets associated with depression, including both genes and gene pathways associated with synaptic structure and neurotransmission. An enrichment analysis provided further evidence of the importance of prefrontal brain regions. In an independent replication sample of 1,306,354 individuals (414,055 cases and 892,299 controls), 87 of the 102 associated variants were significant after multiple testing correction. These findings advance our understanding of the complex genetic architecture of depression and provide several future avenues for understanding etiology and developing new treatment approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41593-018-0326-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6522363PMC
March 2019

Quantifying between-cohort and between-sex genetic heterogeneity in major depressive disorder.

Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet 2019 09 1;180(6):439-447. Epub 2019 Feb 1.

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

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is clinically heterogeneous with prevalence rates twice as high in women as in men. There are many possible sources of heterogeneity in MDD most of which are not measured in a sufficiently comparable way across study samples. Here, we assess genetic heterogeneity based on two fundamental measures, between-cohort and between-sex heterogeneity. First, we used genome-wide association study (GWAS) summary statistics to investigate between-cohort genetic heterogeneity using the 29 research cohorts of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC; N cases = 16,823, N controls = 25,632) and found that some of the cohort heterogeneity can be attributed to ascertainment differences (such as recruitment of cases from hospital vs. community sources). Second, we evaluated between-sex genetic heterogeneity using GWAS summary statistics from the PGC, Kaiser Permanente GERA, UK Biobank, and the Danish iPSYCH studies but did not find convincing evidence for genetic differences between the sexes. We conclude that there is no evidence that the heterogeneity between MDD data sets and between sexes reflects genetic heterogeneity. Larger sample sizes with detailed phenotypic records and genomic data remain the key to overcome heterogeneity inherent in assessment of MDD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.b.32713DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6675638PMC
September 2019

Genome-wide meta-analysis identifies new loci and functional pathways influencing Alzheimer's disease risk.

Nat Genet 2019 03 7;51(3):404-413. Epub 2019 Jan 7.

MRC Biostatistics Unit, Cambridge Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is highly heritable and recent studies have identified over 20 disease-associated genomic loci. Yet these only explain a small proportion of the genetic variance, indicating that undiscovered loci remain. Here, we performed a large genome-wide association study of clinically diagnosed AD and AD-by-proxy (71,880 cases, 383,378 controls). AD-by-proxy, based on parental diagnoses, showed strong genetic correlation with AD (r = 0.81). Meta-analysis identified 29 risk loci, implicating 215 potential causative genes. Associated genes are strongly expressed in immune-related tissues and cell types (spleen, liver, and microglia). Gene-set analyses indicate biological mechanisms involved in lipid-related processes and degradation of amyloid precursor proteins. We show strong genetic correlations with multiple health-related outcomes, and Mendelian randomization results suggest a protective effect of cognitive ability on AD risk. These results are a step forward in identifying the genetic factors that contribute to AD risk and add novel insights into the neurobiology of AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-018-0311-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6836675PMC
March 2019

Discovery of the first genome-wide significant risk loci for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Nat Genet 2019 01 26;51(1):63-75. Epub 2018 Nov 26.

The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research, iPSYCH, Aarhus, Denmark.

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a highly heritable childhood behavioral disorder affecting 5% of children and 2.5% of adults. Common genetic variants contribute substantially to ADHD susceptibility, but no variants have been robustly associated with ADHD. We report a genome-wide association meta-analysis of 20,183 individuals diagnosed with ADHD and 35,191 controls that identifies variants surpassing genome-wide significance in 12 independent loci, finding important new information about the underlying biology of ADHD. Associations are enriched in evolutionarily constrained genomic regions and loss-of-function intolerant genes and around brain-expressed regulatory marks. Analyses of three replication studies: a cohort of individuals diagnosed with ADHD, a self-reported ADHD sample and a meta-analysis of quantitative measures of ADHD symptoms in the population, support these findings while highlighting study-specific differences on genetic overlap with educational attainment. Strong concordance with GWAS of quantitative population measures of ADHD symptoms supports that clinical diagnosis of ADHD is an extreme expression of continuous heritable traits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-018-0269-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6481311PMC
January 2019
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