Association of Genetic Liability to Psychotic Experiences With Neuropsychotic Disorders and Traits.
ABSTRACT: Importance:Psychotic experiences, such as hallucinations and delusions, are reported by approximately 5% to 10% of the general population, although only a small proportion develop psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. Studying the genetic causes of psychotic experiences in the general population, and its association with the genetic causes of other disorders, may increase the understanding of their pathologic significance. Objectives:To determine whether genetic liability to psychotic experiences is shared with schizophrenia and/or other neuropsychiatric disorders and traits and to identify genetic loci associated with psychotic experiences. Design, Setting and Participants:Analyses of genetic correlation, polygenic risk scores, and copy number variation were performed using data from participants in the UK Biobank from April 1, 2018, to March 20, 2019, to assess whether genetic liability to psychotic experiences is shared with schizophrenia and/or other neuropsychiatric disorders and traits. Genome-wide association studies of psychotic experience phenotypes were conducted to identify novel genetic loci. Participants in the final analyses after exclusions included 6123 individuals reporting any psychotic experience, 2143 individuals reporting distressing psychotic experiences, and 3337 individuals reporting multiple occurrences of psychotic experiences. A total of 121?843 individuals who did not report a psychotic experience formed the comparator group. Individuals with a psychotic disorder were excluded from all analyses. Main Outcomes and Measures:Genetic associations with psychotic experience phenotypes. Results:The study included a total of 127?966 participants (56.0% women and 44.0% men; mean [SD] age, 64.0 [7.6] years). Psychotic experiences were genetically correlated with major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Analyses of polygenic risk scores identified associations between psychotic experiences and genetic liability for major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Individuals reporting psychotic experiences had an increased burden of copy number variations previously associated with schizophrenia (odds ratio [OR], 2.04; 95% CI, 1.39-2.98; P?=?2.49?×?10-4) and neurodevelopmental disorders more widely (OR, 1.75; 95% CI, 1.24-2.48; P?=?1.41?×?10-3). Genome-wide association studies identified 4 significantly associated loci, including a locus in Ankyrin-3 (ANK3 [GenBank NM_020987]) (OR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.10-1.23; P?=?3.06?×?10-8) with any psychotic experience, and a locus in cannabinoid receptor 2 gene (CNR2 [GenBank NM_001841]) (OR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.56-0.78; P?=?3.78?×?10-8) with distressing psychotic experiences. The genome-wide association study of any psychotic experience had a low single-nucleotide polymorphism-based heritability estimate (h2?=?1.71%; 95% CI, 1.02%-2.40%). Conclusions and Relevance:A large genetic association study of psychotic experiences from the population-based UK Biobank sample found support for a shared genetic liability between psychotic experiences and schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and neurodevelopmental disorders.
Project description:Psychosis has been hypothesised to be a continuously distributed quantitative phenotype and disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder represent its extreme manifestations. Evidence suggests that common genetic variants play an important role in liability to both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Here we tested the hypothesis that these common variants would also influence psychotic experiences measured dimensionally in adolescents in the general population. Our aim was to test whether schizophrenia and bipolar disorder polygenic risk scores (PRS), as well as specific single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) previously identified as risk variants for schizophrenia, were associated with adolescent dimension-specific psychotic experiences. Self-reported Paranoia, Hallucinations, Cognitive Disorganisation, Grandiosity, Anhedonia, and Parent-rated Negative Symptoms, as measured by the Specific Psychotic Experiences Questionnaire (SPEQ), were assessed in a community sample of 2,152 16-year-olds. Polygenic risk scores were calculated using estimates of the log of odds ratios from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium GWAS stage-1 mega-analysis of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The polygenic risk analyses yielded no significant associations between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder PRS and the SPEQ measures. The analyses on the 28 individual SNPs previously associated with schizophrenia found that two SNPs in TCF4 returned a significant association with the SPEQ Paranoia dimension, rs17512836 (p-value?=?2.57×10??) and rs9960767 (p-value?=?6.23×10??). Replication in an independent sample of 16-year-olds (N?=?3,427) assessed using the Psychotic-Like Symptoms Questionnaire (PLIKS-Q), a composite measure of multiple positive psychotic experiences, failed to yield significant results. Future research with PRS derived from larger samples, as well as larger adolescent validation samples, would improve the predictive power to test these hypotheses further. The challenges of relating adult clinical diagnostic constructs such as schizophrenia to adolescent psychotic experiences at a genetic level are discussed.
Project description:Individuals with disorders that include psychotic symptoms (i.e. psychotic disorders) experience broad cognitive impairments in the chronic state, indicating a dimension of abnormality associated with the experience of psychosis. These impairments negatively impact functional outcome, contributing to the disabling nature of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and psychotic depression. The robust and reliable nature of cognitive deficits has led researchers to explore the timing and profile of impairments, as this may elucidate different neurodevelopmental patterns in individuals who experience psychosis. Here, we review the literature on cognitive deficits across the life span of individuals with psychotic disorder and psychotic-like experiences, highlighting the dimensional nature of both psychosis and cognitive ability. We identify premorbid generalized cognitive impairment in schizophrenia that worsens throughout development, and stabilizes by the first-episode of psychosis, suggesting a neurodevelopmental course. Research in affective psychosis is less clear, with mixed evidence regarding premorbid deficits, but a fairly reliable generalized deficit at first-episode, which appears to worsen into the chronic state. In general, cognitive impairments are most severe in schizophrenia, intermediate in bipolar disorder, and the least severe in psychotic depression. In all groups, cognitive deficits are associated with poorer functional outcome. Finally, while the generalized deficit is the clearest and most reliable signal, data suggests specific deficits in verbal memory across all groups, specific processing speed impairments in schizophrenia and executive functioning impairments in bipolar disorder. Cognitive deficits are a core feature of psychotic disorders that provide a window into understanding developmental course and risk for psychosis.
Project description:While psychotic experiences are core symptoms of mental health disorders like schizophrenia, they are also reported by 5-10% of the population. Both smoking behaviour and genetic risk for psychiatric disorders have been associated with psychotic experiences, but the interplay between these factors remains poorly understood. We tested whether smoking status, maternal smoking around birth, and number of packs smoked/year were associated with lifetime occurrence of three psychotic experiences phenotypes: delusions (n?=?2067), hallucinations (n?=?6689), and any psychotic experience (delusions or hallucinations; n?=?7803) in 157,366 UK Biobank participants. We next calculated polygenic risk scores for schizophrenia (PRSSCZ), bipolar disorder (PRSBP), major depression (PRSDEP) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (PRSADHD) in 144,818 UK Biobank participants of European ancestry to assess whether association between smoking and psychotic experiences was attenuated after adjustment of diagnosis of psychiatric disorders and the PRSs. Finally, we investigated whether smoking exacerbates the effects of genetic predisposition on the psychotic phenotypes in gene-environment interaction models. Smoking status, maternal smoking, and number of packs smoked/year were associated with psychotic experiences (p?<?1.77?×?10-5). Except for packs smoked/year, effects were attenuated but remained significant after adjustment for diagnosis of psychiatric disorders and PRSs (p?<?1.99?×?10-3). Gene-environment interaction models showed the effects of PRSDEP and PRSADHD (but not PRSSCZ or PRSBP) on delusions (but not hallucinations) were significantly greater in current smokers compared to never smokers (p?<?0.002). There were no significant gene-environment interactions for maternal smoking nor for number of packs smoked/year. Our results suggest that both genetic risk of psychiatric disorders and smoking status may have independent and synergistic effects on specific types of psychotic experiences.
Project description:This study aimed to test for overlap in genetic influences between psychotic-like 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-like 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-like experience domain was performed. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-heritability of each psychotic-like experience domain was estimated using genomic-relatedness-based restricted maximum-likelihood (GREML) and linkage disequilibrium- (LD-) score regression. Genetic overlap between specific psychotic-like experience domains and schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression was assessed using polygenic risk score (PRS) and LD-score regression. GREML returned SNP-heritability estimates of 3-9% for psychotic-like 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-like 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-like 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.
Project description:If schizotypy is a taxonic liability for schizophrenia with a general population prevalence of ~10%, it should also be taxonic among biological siblings of probands with schizophrenia. Moreover, assuming this is so, siblings' schizotypy class membership should be predicted by probands' familial load for psychotic disorder and clinical severity, consistent with a multifactorial polygenic threshold model of schizophrenia. We tested these hypotheses in the Genetic Risk and Outcome of Psychosis (GROUP) Study where siblings of probands (n = 792) and unaffected controls (n = 559) provided self-report ratings on the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE). Maximum covariance analyses of control group ratings led to the identification of CAPE items sensitive to nonredundant positive and negative schizotypy classes in the control group (prevalence = 7.9% and 11.1%, respectively). When the same taxonic solution was applied to siblings' CAPE rating, taxometric analyses yielded evidence for larger positive and negative schizotypy classes among siblings (prevalence = 14.1% and 21.8%, respectively). Whereas probands' familial loads for bipolar disorder or drug use disorders did not predict siblings' membership in the schizotypy classes, probands' familial load for psychotic disorder did. Siblings were more likely to be members of the positive schizotypy class where their probands were more severely affected. The pattern of findings is consistent with Meehl's argument that schizotypy reflects liability for schizophrenia.
Project description:This study explores the degree to which genetic influences on psychotic experiences are stable across adolescence and adulthood, and their overlap with psychiatric disorders. Genome-wide association results were obtained for adolescent psychotic experiences and negative symptom traits (N?=?6297-10,098), schizotypy (N?=?3967-4057) and positive psychotic experiences in adulthood (N?=?116,787-117,794), schizophrenia (N?=?150,064), bipolar disorder (N?=?41,653), and depression (N?=?173,005). Linkage disequilibrium score regression was used to estimate genetic correlations. Implicated genes from functional and gene-based analyses were compared. Mendelian randomization was performed on trait pairs with significant genetic correlations. Results indicated that subclinical auditory and visual hallucinations and delusions of persecution during adulthood were significantly genetically correlated with schizophrenia (rg?=?0.27-0.67) and major depression (rg?=?0.41-96) after correction for multiple testing. Auditory and visual subclinical hallucinations were highly genetically correlated (rg?=?0.95). Cross-age genetic correlations for psychotic experiences were not significant. Gene mapping and association analyses revealed 14 possible genes associated with psychotic experiences that overlapped across age for psychotic experiences or between psychotic experiences and psychiatric disorders. Mendelian randomization indicated bidirectional associations between auditory and visual hallucinations in adults but did not support causal relationships between psychotic experiences and psychiatric disorders. These findings indicate that psychotic experiences in adulthood may be more linked genetically to schizophrenia and major depression than psychotic experiences in adolescence. Our study implicated specific genes that are associated with psychotic experiences across development, as well as genes shared between psychotic experiences and psychiatric disorders.
Project description:Psychotic experiences are not uncommon in general population samples, but no studies have examined to what extent confirmed risk variants for schizophrenia are associated with such experiences. A total of 3483 children in a birth cohort study participated in semistructured interviews for psychotic experiences at ages 12 and 18. We examined whether (1) a composite measure of risk for schizophrenia conferred by common alleles (polygenic score) was associated with psychotic experiences, (2) variants with genome-wide evidence for association with schizophrenia were associated with psychotic experiences, and (3) we could identify genetic variants for psychotic experiences using a genome-wide association (GWA) approach. We found no evidence that a schizophrenia polygenic score, or variants showing genome-wide evidence of association with schizophrenia, were associated with adolescent psychotic experiences within the general population. In fact, individuals who had a higher number of risk alleles for genome-wide hits for schizophrenia showed a decreased risk of psychotic experiences. In the GWA study, no variants showed GWA for psychotic experiences, and there was no evidence that the strongest hits (P < 5 × 10(-5)) were enriched for variants associated with schizophrenia in large consortia. Although polygenic scores are weak tools for prediction of schizophrenia, they show strong evidence of association with this disorder. Our findings, however, lend little support to the hypothesis that psychotic experiences in population-based samples of adolescents share a comparable genetic architecture to schizophrenia, or that utilizing a broader and more common phenotype of psychotic experiences will be an efficient approach to increase understanding of the genetic etiology of schizophrenia.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Studies involving clinically recruited samples show that genetic liability to schizophrenia overlaps with that for several psychiatric disorders including bipolar disorder, major depression and, in a population study, anxiety disorder and negative symptoms in adolescence.AimsWe examined whether, at a population level, association between schizophrenia liability and anxiety disorders continues into adulthood, for specific anxiety disorders and as a group. We explored in an epidemiologically based cohort the nature of adult psychopathology sharing liability to schizophrenia. METHOD:Schizophrenia polygenic risk scores (PRSs) were calculated for 590 European-descent individuals from the Christchurch Health and Development Study. Logistic regression was used to examine associations between schizophrenia PRS and four anxiety disorders (social phobia, specific phobia, panic disorder and generalised anxiety disorder), schizophrenia/schizophreniform disorder, manic/hypomanic episode, alcohol dependence, major depression, and - using linear regression - total number of anxiety disorders. A novel population-level association with hypomania was tested in a UK birth cohort (Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children). RESULTS:Schizophrenia PRS was associated with total number of anxiety disorders and with generalised anxiety disorder and panic disorder. We show a novel population-level association between schizophrenia PRS and manic/hypomanic episode. CONCLUSIONS:The relationship between schizophrenia liability and anxiety disorders is not restricted to psychopathology in adolescence but is present in adulthood and specifically linked to generalised anxiety disorder and panic disorder. We suggest that the association between schizophrenia liability and hypomanic/manic episodes found in clinical samples may not be due to bias.Declarations of interestNone.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Individuals with schizophrenia are at higher risk of physical illnesses, which are a major contributor to their 20-year reduced life expectancy. It is currently unknown what causes the increased risk of physical illness in schizophrenia.<h4>Aims</h4>To link genetic data from a clinically ascertained sample of individuals with schizophrenia to anonymised National Health Service (NHS) records. To assess (a) rates of physical illness in those with schizophrenia, and (b) whether physical illness in schizophrenia is associated with genetic liability.<h4>Method</h4>We linked genetic data from a clinically ascertained sample of individuals with schizophrenia (Cardiff Cognition in Schizophrenia participants, n = 896) to anonymised NHS records held in the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) databank. Physical illnesses were defined from the General Practice Database and Patient Episode Database for Wales. Genetic liability for schizophrenia was indexed by (a) rare copy number variants (CNVs), and (b) polygenic risk scores.<h4>Results</h4>Individuals with schizophrenia in SAIL had increased rates of epilepsy (standardised rate ratio (SRR) = 5.34), intellectual disability (SRR = 3.11), type 2 diabetes (SRR = 2.45), congenital disorders (SRR = 1.77), ischaemic heart disease (SRR = 1.57) and smoking (SRR = 1.44) in comparison with the general SAIL population. In those with schizophrenia, carrier status for schizophrenia-associated CNVs and neurodevelopmental disorder-associated CNVs was associated with height (P = 0.015-0.017), with carriers being 7.5-7.7 cm shorter than non-carriers. We did not find evidence that the increased rates of poor physical health outcomes in schizophrenia were associated with genetic liability for the disorder.<h4>Conclusions</h4>This study demonstrates the value of and potential for linking genetic data from clinically ascertained research studies to anonymised health records. The increased risk for physical illness in schizophrenia is not caused by genetic liability for the disorder.
Project description:Psychotic experiences are common in the general population, and predict later psychotic illness. Much less is known about negative symptoms in the general population.This study utilized a sample of 4,914 Israel-born individuals aged 25-34 years who were screened for psychopathology in the 1980's. Though not designed to specifically assess negative symptoms, data were available on 9 self-report items representing avolition and social withdrawal, and on 5 interviewer-rated items assessing speech deficits, flat affect and poor hygiene. Psychotic experiences were assessed using the False Beliefs and Perceptions subscale of the Psychiatric Epidemiology Research Interview. Psychiatric hospitalization was ascertained 24 years later using a nation-wide psychiatric hospitalization registry.After removing subjects with diagnosable psychotic disorders at baseline, 20.2% had at least one negative symptom. Negative symptoms were associated with increased risk of later schizophrenia only in the presence of strong (frequent) psychotic experiences (OR = 13.0, 9% CI: 2.1-79.4).Negative symptoms are common in the general population, though the majority of people with negative symptoms do not manifest a clinically diagnosed psychiatric disorder. Negative symptoms and psychotic experiences critically depend on each other's co-occurrence in increasing risk for later schizophrenia.