A group of doctors at the University of Queensland and Vrije Universiteit
in Amsterdam studied the molecular genetics of 400,000 individuals to probe the
common set of genes behind five psychiatric disorders.
According to UQ psychiatrist Professor Christel Middeldorp, they had
observed many members of the same family present with different psychiatric
disorders, so there was a hunch that a
common set of genes were expressed. The need to identify shared biological and
molecular pathways of these disorders are crucial to find new treatments and
Details of the Study
The group used genome-wide data of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder
(MDD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
. They had a total of 159219
cases with 262481 controls. They used gene set analysis (GSA), which
is also known as pathway analysis.
method, genes are clustered into gene sets based on shared biological or
functional properties like molecular interactions, regulation, molecular
products or phenotype associations.
included 7372 gene sets and 53 tissue-type specific gene-expression profiles to
identify and understand the common set of genes underlying the disease
mechanism of these five disorders.
Results of the Study
identified a total of 19 gene sets associated with these five disorders of
which they excluded five, which were mostly associated with schizophrenia
study indicated that a common set of genes play a major role in these five
disorders as they have a common biological/molecular pathway or are active in
the same tissue types.
biological pathways of these genes in the brain affect different functions in
the brain including synaptic firing and communication.
for the Future
of this study are significant as it can pave the way for newer drugs to
treat these five psychiatric disorders.
biological mechanisms and pathways of these diseases can lead to precise
treatments and make way for personalized medicine
in psychiatric healthcare.
- Hammerschlag, Anke R., Christiaan A. de Leeuw, Christel M. Middeldorp, and Tinca JC Polderman. "Synaptic and brain-expressed gene sets relate to the shared genetic risk across five psychiatric disorders." Psychological Medicine (2019): 1-11. Accessed on 30 July 2019 from - (https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/psychological-medicine/article/synaptic-and-brainexpressed-gene-sets-relate-to-the-shared-genetic-risk-across-five-psychiatric-disorders/73114566C699FA78AB07B6DE7A6775BC#)