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Pathways analyses of schizophrenia GWAS focusing on known and novel drug targets

By Héléna A Gaspar, Gerome Breen

Posted 02 Dec 2016
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/091264

Schizophrenia is a common, heritable and highly complex psychiatric disorder for which genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have discovered >100 loci. This, and the progress being made in other complex disorders, leads to the questions of how efficiently GWAS can be used to identify novel drug targets and druggable pathways. Taking a series of increasingly better powered GWASs for schizophrenia, we analyse genetic data using information about drug targets and drug therapeutical classes to assess the potential utility of GWAS for drug discovery. As sample size increases, schizophrenia GWAS results show increasing enrichment for known antipsychotic drugs, psycholeptics, and antiepileptics. Drugs targeting calcium channels or nicotinic acetylcholine receptors also show significant association. We conclude that current schizophrenia GWAS results may hold potential therapeutic leads given their power to detect existing treatments.

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