Genes underscore five psychiatric disorders

Summary: Nineteen gene sets have been identified that contribute to at least five psychiatric disorders. The gene sets were associated with ADHD, ASD, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and schizophrenia.

Source: University of Queensland

A group of international doctors has uncovered the genes that contribute to the development of ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, major depression and schizophrenia.

A collaborative research project carried out by The University of Queensland and Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam analyzed more than 400,000 individuals to determine the genes behind these five psychiatric disorders.

UQ psychiatrist Professor Christel Middeldorp said several sets of genes marked all five disorders.

“Before this analysis, we knew a lot of psychiatric disorders were related to each other due to their hereditary nature,” Professor Middeldorp said.

“We often see multiple family members with mental illness in one family, but not necessarily with the same disorder.”

“We investigated if specific sets of genes were involved in the development of multiple disorders, which genes are not only related to say, ADHD, but also to the other four psychiatric disorders.”

“These are genes that play a role in the same biological pathway or are active in the same tissue type.”

“Genes that are highly expressed in the brain were shown to affect the different disorders, and some genes were related to all the illnesses we studied.”

“It shows that there is a common set of genes that increase your risk for all five disorders.”

The study’s lead author Dr Anke Hammerschlag said it was due to the biological pathways shared by the genes in the brain.

This shows a dna puzzle
New pharmaceutical drugs could potentially target these shared pathways. The image is adapted from the University of Queensland news release.

“We found that there are shared biological mechanisms acting across disorders that all point to functions in brain cells,” Dr Hammerschlag said.

“The synapse plays a vital role as this is the connection point between brain cells where the cells communicate with each other.”

“We also found that genes especially active in the brain are important, while genes active in other tissues do not play a role.”

New pharmaceutical drugs could potentially target these shared pathways.

“Our findings are an important first step towards the development of new drugs which may be effective for a wide range of patients, regardless of their exact diagnosis,” she said.

“This knowledge will bring us closer to the development of more effective personalized medicine.”

[divider]About this neuroscience research article[/divider]

Source:
University of Queensland
Media Contacts:
Christel Middeldorp – University of Queensland
Image Source:
The image is adapted from the University of Queensland news release.

Original Research: Open access
“Synaptic and brain-expressed gene sets relate to the shared genetic risk across five psychiatric disorders”. Christel Middeldorp et al.
Psychological Medicine. doi:10.1017/S0033291719001776

Abstract

Synaptic and brain-expressed gene sets relate to the shared genetic risk across five psychiatric disorders

Background
Mounting evidence shows genetic overlap between multiple psychiatric disorders. However, the biological underpinnings of shared risk for psychiatric disorders are not yet fully uncovered. The identification of underlying biological mechanisms is crucial for the progress in the treatment of these disorders.

Methods
We applied gene-set analysis including 7372 gene sets, and 53 tissue-type specific gene-expression profiles to identify sets of genes that are involved in the etiology of multiple psychiatric disorders. We included genome-wide meta-association data of the five psychiatric disorders schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The total dataset contained 159 219 cases and 262 481 controls.

Results

We identified 19 gene sets that were significantly associated with the five psychiatric disorders combined, of which we excluded five sets because their associations were likely driven by schizophrenia only. Conditional analyses showed independent effects of several gene sets that in particular relate to the synapse. In addition, we found independent effects of gene expression levels in the cerebellum and frontal cortex.

Conclusions
We obtained novel evidence for shared biological mechanisms that act across psychiatric disorders and we showed that several gene sets that have been related to individual disorders play a role in a broader range of psychiatric disorders.

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  1. Just to reiterate a previous post, Why even bother following genetic news when you literally dont report a single result.. no correlation to a haplotype, not even a marker of any sorts.. what is this? Clickbait? Thanks, but no. Seriously zero standard is becoming the norm and bleeding over from empty political reporting into empty supposedly ‘scholarly’ reporting. Congrats, you got me to waste some minutes of my life reading your empty article under the assumption that there might be some insight yet to be derived.. classic media bs. Next time why don’t you buck up and report something of value, because (and I shouldn’t have to explain this) ANYONE who is reading this has a genuine interest, and likely background knowledge, of human genetics and population migration! Saying, “oh we found something that maybe perhaps one day might be meaningful” IS NOT NEWS! Get a grip and do your job and stop wasting our time. You discovered 19 or so traces that are correlated with a pattern of hereditary mental disorders or manifestations.. fantastic… now if you really want to add some value, or, Idk, get more funding, try being more specific and tell us what Gene’s, what expressions, maybe publish a data visualization, try not to suck so hard and actually publish real content of merit and value that can inspire a scholar to give a FLYING F*CK about this piss poor result .. or rather as I see it, piss poor reporting, because it is not the scientists who are lacking here. #walkaway Mark @Hedtke Institute founder online futurist

  2. I am a proponent of any testing that might shed some light on the mystery of mental illness.

  3. So somebody with one of those disorders, can you somehow alter a strand of their DNA to remove the flaw and that would pass on to all of the DNA in the person’s body and that would lead to raising children that do not have those disorders in their DNA? Thank you

  4. Why even bother following genetic new when you literally dont report a single result.. no correlation to a haplotype, not even a marker of any sorts.. what is this? Clickbait? Thanks, but no. Seriously zero standard is becoming the norm and bleeding over from empty political reporting into empty supposedly ‘scholarly’ reporting. Congrats, you got me to waste some minutes of my life reading your empty article under the assumption that there might be some insight yet to be derived.. classic media bs. Next time why don’t you buck up and report something of value, because (and I shouldn’t have to explain this) ANYONE who is reading this has a genuine interest, and likely background knowledge, of human genetics and population migration! Saying, “oh we found something that maybe perhaps one day might be meaningful” IS NOT NEWS! Get a grip and do your job and stop wasting our time. You discovered 19 or so traces that are correlated with a pattern of hereditary mental disorders or manifestations.. fantastic… now if you really want to add some value, or, Idk, get more funding, try being more specific and tell us what Gene’s, what expressions, maybe publish a data visualization, try not to suck so hard and actually publish real content of merit and value that can inspire a scholar to give a FLYING F*CK about this piss poor result .. or rather as I see it, piss poor reporting, because it is not the scientists who are lacking here. #endrant

  5. One can only conclude that if genes are responsible for disorders, they must be responsible for “order”. That is, intelligence and IQ are linked to genes.

  6. There is still a long way to go, obviously, but, as someone suffering from major depression, it’s always good to know progress is being made. Thank you for your good work.

  7. ASD and ADHD are not psychiatric disorders!!! They are neurodevelopmental conditions! People with these conditions are not “mental”, their brains are wired differently!

  8. I am not a believer in these types of study of human beings. I would like to know what age were these people guinea pigs, and also want to know why were they possibly never analysed from there first day of birth, and what their living environment at home was like. Many children who grow up have brought all this baggage with them from the parents uncaring and not enough quality time to know individually each one of their children, to be able to operate with them on their individual stage of development. Then company’s that pay for your research just to put drugs into innocent human beings, then further numb their core realities and you are now labeling human beings worse in my strong opinions. It is like going to the supermarket and comparing what’s the best product to buy etc.., which is researched for years to sell to the market. All of this medical research is as bad. It is treating people like animals and just using these products to desensitize natural healthy brains within human beings. Get down to the core of why from being a baby these traits have developed through what stress as a child. For once then, pharmaceutical companys can be erased and more of the money for wasted research can put food on tables, clothes and shoes on these families, and most of all acceptance within every community. We are all unique. You foolish money grabbing inhuman people should wake up to this.

  9. Lmao, ASD isn’t a problem in itself and I seriously think until people stop supporting eugenicist hate groups such as Autism Speaks we should stop trying to find an ASD gene. It’s ridiculous.

    My brain isn’t broken and doesn’t need a cure, but society’s bigotry problem does so maybe look for a gene for that instead.

    Otherwise this is actually pretty interesting but this is the exact reason I didn’t continue my biology major and switched to psychology. Both of them can be pretty ableist but at least one of them isn’t flooded with eugenics.

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