Psychiatric genetic overlap

Institute of Biological Psychiatry have just co-authored an article in Science Magazine, revealing a genetic association between several different mental disorders.

Many genome-wide studies have examined genes associated with a range of neuropsychiatric disorders. However, the degree to which the genetic underpinnings of these diseases differ or overlap is unknown. Researchers from Institute of Biological Psychiatry has contributed to meta-analyses of transcriptomic studies covering five major psychiatric disorders and compared cases and controls to identify coexpressed gene modules. From this, it was found that some psychiatric disorders share global gene expression patterns. This overlap in polygenic traits in neuropsychiatric disorders may allow for better diagnosis and treatment.

The article was written in collaboration with the first author, Michael Gandal, and the corresponding author, Dan Geschwind, who have both recently spent time working at IBP, resulting in a close collaboration between our institute and UCLA.

– It is important that we now see what the genes do, and not just how they are structured. In the last 10-15 years, we have mapped the structure of our genes and genome by sequencing DNA. But we have not had the ability to interpret the genetics. We knew that certain genes increase the risk of certain diseases. But how they do so have been unknown until know, says Thomas in a press release from University of Copenhagen.

The study was based on an examination of 700 human brains of deceased people, and meta-analyses of a number of transcriptomic studies.

Read the article “Shared molecular neuropathology across major psychiatric disorders parallels polygenic overlap