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Genome-wide analysis of adolescent psychotic experiences shows genetic overlap with psychiatric disorders

By Oliver Pain, Frank Dudbridge, Alastair G Cardno, Daniel Freeman, Yi Lu, Sebastian Lundstrom, Paul Lichtenstein, Angelica Ronald

Posted 20 Feb 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/265512 (published DOI: 10.1002/ajmg.b.32630)

This study aimed to test for overlap in genetic influences between psychotic experience traits shown by adolescents in the community, and clinically-recognized psychiatric disorders in adulthood, specifically schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression. The full spectra of psychotic experience domains, both in terms of their severity and type (positive, cognitive, and negative), were assessed using self- and parent-ratings in three European community samples aged 15-19 years (Final N incl. siblings = 6,297-10,098). A mega-genome-wide association study (mega-GWAS) for each psychotic experience domain was performed. SNP-heritability of each psychotic experience domain was estimated using genomic-relatedness-based restricted maximum-likelihood (GREML) and linkage disequilibrium- (LD-) score regression. Genetic overlap between specific psychotic experience domains and schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression was assessed using polygenic risk scoring (PRS) and LD-score regression. GREML returned SNP-heritability estimates of 3-9% for psychotic experience trait domains, with higher estimates for less skewed traits (Anhedonia, Cognitive Disorganization) than for more skewed traits (Paranoia and Hallucinations, Parent-rated Negative Symptoms). Mega-GWAS analysis identified one genome-wide significant association for Anhedonia within IDO2 but which did not replicate in an independent sample. PRS analysis revealed that the schizophrenia PRS significantly predicted all adolescent psychotic experience trait domains (Paranoia and Hallucinations only in non-zero scorers). The major depression PRS significantly predicted Anhedonia and Parent-rated Negative Symptoms in adolescence. Psychotic experiences during adolescence in the community show additive genetic effects and partly share genetic influences with clinically-recognized psychiatric disorders, specifically schizophrenia and major depression.

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