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Differences in Genetic Liability for Insomnia and Hypersomnia in Bipolar Disorder Subtypes

By Katie J S Lewis, Alexander Richards, Ganna Leonenko, Samuel E. Jones, Hannah Jones, Katherine Gordon-Smith, Liz Forty, Valentina Escott-Price, Michael J. Owen, Michael N Weedon, Lisa Jones, Nick Craddock, Ian Jones, Michael C O’Donovan, Arianna Di Florio

Posted 07 Mar 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/569376

Background: Insomnia and hypersomnia are common in bipolar disorder (BD) but it is unclear whether genetic factors influence this association. Stratifying by bipolar subtypes could elucidate the nature of this association and inform research on sleep and BD. We therefore aimed to determine whether polygenic risk scores (PRS) for insomnia, daytime sleepiness and sleep duration differ according to bipolar subtypes (bipolar I disorder, BD-I or bipolar II disorder, BD-II). Methods: In this case-control study, we used multinomial regression to determine whether PRS for insomnia, daytime sleepiness, and sleep duration were associated with risk of BD-I or BD-II when compared to each other and to controls. Cases (n=4672) were recruited within the United Kingdom from the Bipolar Disorder Research Network. Controls (n=5714) were recruited from the 1958 British Birth Cohort and UK Blood Service. All participants were of European ancestry. Clinical subtypes of BD were determined by semi-structured psychiatric interview (the Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry) and case notes. Results: Within cases, 3404 and 1268 met DSM-IV criteria for BD-I and BD-II, respectively. Insomnia PRS was associated with increased risk of BD-II (RR = 1.14, 95% CI = 1.07-1.21, P = 8.26 x 10-5) but not BD-I (RR = 0.98, 95% CI = 0.94-1.03, P = .409) relative to controls. In contrast, sleep duration PRS was associated with increased relative risk of BD-I (RR = 1.10, 95% CI = 1.06-1.15, P = 1.13 x 10-5), but not BD-II (RR = 0.99, 95% CI = 0.93-1.06, P = .818). Daytime sleepiness PRS was associated with an increased risk of BD-I (RR = 1.07, 95% CI = 1.02-1.11, P = .005) and BD-II (RR = 1.14, 95% CI = 1.07-1.22, P = 3.22 x 10-5) compared to controls, but did not distinguish subtypes from each other. Conclusions: Bipolar subtypes differ in genetic liability to insomnia and sleep duration. Our findings provide further evidence that the distinction between BD-I and BD-II has biological and genetic validity. This distinction will be critical in the selection of participants for future research on the role of sleep disturbance in BD.

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