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Author: Stephanie H Witt (96)


Jan
2018

In this review article, genetic variation associated with brain responses related to acute and chronic stress reactivity and fear learning in humans is presented as an important mechanism underlying posttraumatic stress disorder. We report that genes related to the regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, as well as genes that modulate serotonergic, dopaminergic, and neuropeptidergic functions or plasticity, play a role in this context. The strong overlap of the genetic targets involved in stress and fear learning suggests that a dimensional and mechanistic model of the development of posttraumatic stress disorder based on these constructs is promising.

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Feb
2018

Schizophrenia is a disorder with a high heritability. Patients as well as their first degree relatives display lower levels of performance in a number of cognitive domains compared to subjects without genetic risk. Several studies could link these aberrations to single genetic variants, however, only recently, polygenic risk scores as proxies for genetic risk have been associated with cognitive domains and their neural correlates.

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Jan
2018

A high frequency of outgroup contact - as experienced by urban dwellers and migrants - possibly increases schizophrenia risk. This risk might be further amplified by genetic and environmental risk factors, such as the A-allele of rs1006737 within the Calcium Voltage-Gated Channel Subunit Alpha1 C (CACNA1C) gene and Childhood Interpersonal Trauma (CIT). Both have been related to ventral anterior cingulate cortex (vACC) functioning.

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Jan
2018

Sleep spindles are a hallmark of NREM stage 2 sleep. Fast sleep spindles correlate with cognitive functioning, and are reduced in schizophrenia. Although spindles are highly genetically determined, distinct genetic mechanisms influencing sleep spindle activity have not been identified so far.

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Mar
2018

Bipolar disorder (BD) is a common and highly heritable disorder of mood. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified several independent susceptibility loci. In order to extract more biological information from GWAS data, multi-locus approaches represent powerful tools since they utilize knowledge about biological processes to integrate functional sets of genes at strongly to moderately associated loci.

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Nov
2017

Hair cortisol concentration (HCC) is a promising measure of long-term hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity. Previous research has suggested an association between HCC and psychological variables, and initial studies of inter-individual variance in HCC have implicated genetic factors. However, whether HCC and psychological variables share genetic risk factors remains unclear.

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Oct
2017

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and proteomic studies have provided convincing evidence implicating alterations in immune/inflammatory processes in schizophrenia. However, despite the convergence of evidence, direct links between the genetic and proteomic findings are still lacking for schizophrenia. We investigated associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from the custom-made PsychArray and the expression levels of 190 multiplex immunoassay profiled serum proteins in 149 schizophrenia patients and 198 matched controls.

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Sep
2017

The rs1625579 variant near the microRNA-137 (MIR137) gene is one of the best-supported schizophrenia variants in genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and microRNA-137 functionally regulates other GWAS identified schizophrenia risk variants. Schizophrenia patients with the MIR137 rs1625579 risk genotype (homozygous for the schizophrenia risk variant) also have aberrant brain structure. It is unclear if the effect of MIR137 among schizophrenia patients is due to potential epistasis with genetic risk for schizophrenia or other factors of the disorder.

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Nov
2017

Recent data suggest that ghrelin is involved in the pathophysiology of alcohol use disorders, affecting alcohol self-administration and craving. Gastric ghrelin secretion is reduced by stomach distension. We now tested the hypothesis whether the clinically well-known effects of high-volume water intake on craving reduction in alcoholism is mediated by acute changes in ghrelin secretion.

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Oct
2017

Major depression disorder (MDD) is a complex neuropsychiatric disorder and an increasing number of genetic risk variants are being identified. Investigation of their influence in the general population requires accurate and efficient assessment of depressive symptoms. Here, clinical interviews conducted by clinicians are the gold standard.

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Oct
2017

Major depressive disorder (MDD) patients show impairments of cognitive functioning such as working memory (WM), and furthermore alterations during WM-fMRI tasks especially in frontal and parietal brain regions. The calculation of a polygenic risk score (PRS) can be used to describe the genetic influence on MDD, hence imaging genetic studies aspire to combine both genetics and neuroimaging data to identify the influence of genetic factors on brain functioning. We aimed to detect the effect of MDD-PRS on brain activation during a WM task measured with fMRI and expect healthy individuals with a higher PRS to be more resembling to MDD patients.

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Jan
2018

The serotonin transporter-linked polymorphic region 5-HTTLPR is a key genetic regulator of 5-HTT expression in the human brain where the short allele S has been implicated in emotion dysregulation. However, the neural mechanism underlying the association between this variant and emotion processing is still unclear. Earlier studies suggested an effect of 5-HTTLPR on amygdala activation during emotional face processing.

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Dec
2017

The fundamental role of the brain-specific myelin transcription factor 1-like (MYT1L) gene in cases of intellectual disability and in the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders is increasingly recognized. Yet, its function remains under-investigated. Here, we identify a network of helix-loop-helix (HLH) transcriptional regulators controlled by MYT1L, as indicated by our analyses in human neural stem cells and in the human brain.

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Nov
2017

Telomere length (TL) is a marker of biological aging, and numerous studies have shown associations between TL and somatic or psychiatric disorders. Research also indicates an association between maternal stress during pregnancy and TL in the offspring. The present study investigated possible associations between TL and: (1) maternal perceived stress during pregnancy; (2) a maternal lifetime history of psychiatric disorder (lifetime PD); and (3) paternal age.

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Dec
1969

Bipolar disorder (BD) is a highly heritable neuropsychiatric disease characterized by recurrent episodes of mania and depression. BD shows substantial clinical and genetic overlap with other psychiatric disorders, in particular schizophrenia (SCZ). The genes underlying this etiological overlap remain largely unknown.

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Dec
1969

The brain neuropeptide S (NPS) system has recently generated substantial interest and may be of major relevance for central stress regulation. The NPS receptor (NPSR1) is highly expressed in the limbic system, exogenous NPS exerts pronounced anxiolytic and fear-attenuating effects in rodents and extensive close crosstalk between the NPS system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis has been demonstrated. In humans, associations between NPSR1 variants and anxiety and panic disorder, as well as amygdala responsiveness to fear- relevant faces and prefrontal cortex activity in a fear conditioning paradigm have been reported.

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Jan
2017

Contribution of copy number variants to schizophrenia from a genome-wide study of 41,321 subjects.

Nat Genet 2017 Jan 21;49(1):27-35. Epub 2016 Nov 21.
Christian R Marshall, Daniel P Howrigan, Daniele Merico, Bhooma Thiruvahindrapuram, Wenting Wu, Douglas S Greer, Danny Antaki, Aniket Shetty, Peter A Holmans, Dalila Pinto, Madhusudan Gujral, William M Brandler, Dheeraj Malhotra, Zhouzhi Wang, Karin V Fuentes Fajarado, Michelle S Maile, Stephan Ripke, Ingrid Agartz, Margot Albus, Madeline Alexander, Farooq Amin, Joshua Atkins, Silviu A Bacanu, Richard A Belliveau, Sarah E Bergen, Marcelo Bertalan, Elizabeth Bevilacqua, Tim B Bigdeli, Donald W Black, Richard Bruggeman, Nancy G Buccola, Randy L Buckner, Brendan Bulik-Sullivan, William Byerley, Wiepke Cahn, Guiqing Cai, Murray J Cairns, Dominique Campion, Rita M Cantor, Vaughan J Carr, Noa Carrera, Stanley V Catts, Kimberley D Chambert, Wei Cheng, C Robert Cloninger, David Cohen, Paul Cormican, Nick Craddock, Benedicto Crespo-Facorro, James J Crowley, David Curtis, Michael Davidson, Kenneth L Davis, Franziska Degenhardt, Jurgen Del Favero, Lynn E DeLisi, Dimitris Dikeos, Timothy Dinan, Srdjan Djurovic, Gary Donohoe, Elodie Drapeau, Jubao Duan, Frank Dudbridge, Peter Eichhammer, Johan Eriksson, Valentina Escott-Price, Laurent Essioux, Ayman H Fanous, Kai-How Farh, Martilias S Farrell, Josef Frank, Lude Franke, Robert Freedman, Nelson B Freimer, Joseph I Friedman, Andreas J Forstner, Menachem Fromer, Giulio Genovese, Lyudmila Georgieva, Elliot S Gershon, Ina Giegling, Paola Giusti-Rodríguez, Stephanie Godard, Jacqueline I Goldstein, Jacob Gratten, Lieuwe de Haan, Marian L Hamshere, Mark Hansen, Thomas Hansen, Vahram Haroutunian, Annette M Hartmann, Frans A Henskens, Stefan Herms, Joel N Hirschhorn, Per Hoffmann, Andrea Hofman, Hailiang Huang, Masashi Ikeda, Inge Joa, Anna K Kähler, René S Kahn, Luba Kalaydjieva, Juha Karjalainen, David Kavanagh, Matthew C Keller, Brian J Kelly, James L Kennedy, Yunjung Kim, James A Knowles, Bettina Konte, Claudine Laurent, Phil Lee, S Hong Lee, Sophie E Legge, Bernard Lerer, Deborah L Levy, Kung-Yee Liang, Jeffrey Lieberman, Jouko Lönnqvist, Carmel M Loughland, Patrik K E Magnusson, Brion S Maher, Wolfgang Maier, Jacques Mallet, Manuel Mattheisen, Morten Mattingsdal, Robert W McCarley, Colm McDonald, Andrew M McIntosh, Sandra Meier, Carin J Meijer, Ingrid Melle, Raquelle I Mesholam-Gately, Andres Metspalu, Patricia T Michie, Lili Milani, Vihra Milanova, Younes Mokrab, Derek W Morris, Bertram Müller-Myhsok, Kieran C Murphy, Robin M Murray, Inez Myin-Germeys, Igor Nenadic, Deborah A Nertney, Gerald Nestadt, Kristin K Nicodemus, Laura Nisenbaum, Annelie Nordin, Eadbhard O'Callaghan, Colm O'Dushlaine, Sang-Yun Oh, Ann Olincy, Line Olsen, F Anthony O'Neill, Jim Van Os, Christos Pantelis, George N Papadimitriou, Elena Parkhomenko, Michele T Pato, Tiina Paunio, , Diana O Perkins, Tune H Pers, Olli Pietiläinen, Jonathan Pimm, Andrew J Pocklington, John Powell, Alkes Price, Ann E Pulver, Shaun M Purcell, Digby Quested, Henrik B Rasmussen, Abraham Reichenberg, Mark A Reimers, Alexander L Richards, Joshua L Roffman, Panos Roussos, Douglas M Ruderfer, Veikko Salomaa, Alan R Sanders, Adam Savitz, Ulrich Schall, Thomas G Schulze, Sibylle G Schwab, Edward M Scolnick, Rodney J Scott, Larry J Seidman, Jianxin Shi, Jeremy M Silverman, Jordan W Smoller, Erik Söderman, Chris C A Spencer, Eli A Stahl, Eric Strengman, Jana Strohmaier, T Scott Stroup, Jaana Suvisaari, Dragan M Svrakic, Jin P Szatkiewicz, Srinivas Thirumalai, Paul A Tooney, Juha Veijola, Peter M Visscher, John Waddington, Dermot Walsh, Bradley T Webb, Mark Weiser, Dieter B Wildenauer, Nigel M Williams, Stephanie Williams, Stephanie H Witt, Aaron R Wolen, Brandon K Wormley, Naomi R Wray, Jing Qin Wu, Clement C Zai, Rolf Adolfsson, Ole A Andreassen, Douglas H R Blackwood, Elvira Bramon, Joseph D Buxbaum, Sven Cichon, David A Collier, Aiden Corvin, Mark J Daly, Ariel Darvasi, Enrico Domenici, Tõnu Esko, Pablo V Gejman, Michael Gill, Hugh Gurling, Christina M Hultman, Nakao Iwata, Assen V Jablensky, Erik G Jönsson, Kenneth S Kendler, George Kirov, Jo Knight, Douglas F Levinson, Qingqin S Li, Steven A McCarroll, Andrew McQuillin, Jennifer L Moran, Bryan J Mowry, Markus M Nöthen, Roel A Ophoff, Michael J Owen, Aarno Palotie, Carlos N Pato, Tracey L Petryshen, Danielle Posthuma, Marcella Rietschel, Brien P Riley, Dan Rujescu, Pamela Sklar, David St Clair, James T R Walters, Thomas Werge, Patrick F Sullivan, Michael C O'Donovan, Stephen W Scherer, Benjamin M Neale, Jonathan Sebat,
Copy number variants (CNVs) have been strongly implicated in the genetic etiology of schizophrenia (SCZ). However, genome-wide investigation of the contribution of CNV to risk has been hampered by limited sample sizes. We sought to address this obstacle by applying a centralized analysis pipeline to a SCZ cohort of 21,094 cases and 20,227 controls.

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Oct
2016

It is well known that inbreeding increases the risk of recessive monogenic diseases, but it is less certain whether it contributes to the etiology of complex diseases such as schizophrenia. One way to estimate the effects of inbreeding is to examine the association between disease diagnosis and genome-wide autozygosity estimated using runs of homozygosity (ROH) in genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism arrays. Using data for schizophrenia from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (n = 21,868), Keller et al.

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Dec
1969

Numerous studies have elucidated the genetics of Parkinson's disease; however, the aetiology of the majority of sporadic cases has not yet been resolved. We hypothesized that epigenetic variations could be associated with PD and evaluated the DNA methylation pattern in PD patients compared to brothers or twins without PD. The methylation of DNA from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of 62 discordant siblings including 24 monozygotic twins was characterized with Illumina DNA Methylation 450K bead arrays and subsequently validated in two independent cohorts: 221 PD vs.

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Feb
2017

Stress increases the risk for major depressive disorder (MDD), overeating, and alcohol dependence (AD). The neuropeptide Y system is one of the best-known modulators of the stress response, and some of its effects are mediated through the neuropeptide Y receptor Y2 (NPY2R). The functional NPY2R variant rs6857715 (C-599T) has been implicated in both obesity and AD, but with opposing alleles.

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Aug
2016

Common variants in the gene GATA binding protein 4 (GATA4) show association with alcohol dependence (AD). The aim of this study was to identify rare variants in GATA4 in order to elucidate the role of this gene in AD susceptibility. Identification of rare variants may provide a more complete picture of the allelic architecture at this risk locus.

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Dec
1969

Measuring cortisol in hair is a promising method to assess long-term alterations of the biological stress response system, and hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) may be altered in psychiatric disorders and in subjects suffering from chronic stress. However, the pattern of associations between HCC, chronic stress and mental health require clarification. Our exploratory study: (1) assessed the association between HCC and perceived stress, symptoms of depression and neuroticism, and the trait extraversion (as a control variable); and (2) made use of the twin design to estimate the genetic and environmental covariance between the variables of interest.

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Aug
2016

Genome-wide association study of 40,000 individuals identifies two novel loci associated with bipolar disorder.

Hum Mol Genet 2016 Aug 21;25(15):3383-3394. Epub 2016 Jun 21.
Liping Hou, Sarah E Bergen, Nirmala Akula, Jie Song, Christina M Hultman, Mikael Landén, Mazda Adli, Martin Alda, Raffaella Ardau, Bárbara Arias, Jean-Michel Aubry, Lena Backlund, Judith A Badner, Thomas B Barrett, Michael Bauer, Bernhard T Baune, Frank Bellivier, Antonio Benabarre, Susanne Bengesser, Wade H Berrettini, Abesh Kumar Bhattacharjee, Joanna M Biernacka, Armin Birner, Cinnamon S Bloss, Clara Brichant-Petitjean, Elise T Bui, William Byerley, Pablo Cervantes, Caterina Chillotti, Sven Cichon, Francesc Colom, William Coryell, David W Craig, Cristiana Cruceanu, Piotr M Czerski, Tony Davis, Alexandre Dayer, Franziska Degenhardt, Maria Del Zompo, J Raymond DePaulo, Howard J Edenberg, Bruno Étain, Peter Falkai, Tatiana Foroud, Andreas J Forstner, Louise Frisén, Mark A Frye, Janice M Fullerton, Sébastien Gard, Julie S Garnham, Elliot S Gershon, Fernando S Goes, Tiffany A Greenwood, Maria Grigoroiu-Serbanescu, Joanna Hauser, Urs Heilbronner, Stefanie Heilmann-Heimbach, Stefan Herms, Maria Hipolito, Shashi Hitturlingappa, Per Hoffmann, Andrea Hofmann, Stephane Jamain, Esther Jiménez, Jean-Pierre Kahn, Layla Kassem, John R Kelsoe, Sarah Kittel-Schneider, Sebastian Kliwicki, Daniel L Koller, Barbara König, Nina Lackner, Gonzalo Laje, Maren Lang, Catharina Lavebratt, William B Lawson, Marion Leboyer, Susan G Leckband, Chunyu Liu, Anna Maaser, Pamela B Mahon, Wolfgang Maier, Mario Maj, Mirko Manchia, Lina Martinsson, Michael J McCarthy, Susan L McElroy, Melvin G McInnis, Rebecca McKinney, Philip B Mitchell, Marina Mitjans, Francis M Mondimore, Palmiero Monteleone, Thomas W Mühleisen, Caroline M Nievergelt, Markus M Nöthen, Tomas Novák, John I Nurnberger, Evaristus A Nwulia, Urban Ösby, Andrea Pfennig, James B Potash, Peter Propping, Andreas Reif, Eva Reininghaus, John Rice, Marcella Rietschel, Guy A Rouleau, Janusz K Rybakowski, Martin Schalling, William A Scheftner, Peter R Schofield, Nicholas J Schork, Thomas G Schulze, Johannes Schumacher, Barbara W Schweizer, Giovanni Severino, Tatyana Shekhtman, Paul D Shilling, Christian Simhandl, Claire M Slaney, Erin N Smith, Alessio Squassina, Thomas Stamm, Pavla Stopkova, Fabian Streit, Jana Strohmaier, Szabolcs Szelinger, Sarah K Tighe, Alfonso Tortorella, Gustavo Turecki, Eduard Vieta, Julia Volkert, Stephanie H Witt, Adam Wright, Peter P Zandi, Peng Zhang, Sebastian Zollner, Francis J McMahon
Bipolar disorder (BD) is a genetically complex mental illness characterized by severe oscillations of mood and behaviour. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified several risk loci that together account for a small portion of the heritability. To identify additional risk loci, we performed a two-stage meta-analysis of >9 million genetic variants in 9,784 bipolar disorder patients and 30,471 controls, the largest GWAS of BD to date.

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Aug
2016

Findings on the etiology of aggressive behavior have provided evidence for an effect both of genetic factors, such as variation in the monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) gene, and adverse environmental factors. Recent studies have supported the existence of gene × environment interactions, with early experiences playing a key role. In the present study, the effects of prenatal nicotine exposure, MAOA genotype and their interaction on aggressive behavior during young adulthood were examined.

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Dec
1969

Clonal evolution is believed to be a main driver for progression of various types of cancer and implicated in facilitating resistance to drugs. However, the hierarchical organization of malignant clones in the hematopoiesis of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and its impact on response to drug therapy remain poorly understood. Using high-throughput sequencing of patient and xenografted cells, we evaluated the intratumoral heterogeneity (n= 54) and reconstructed mutational trajectories (n = 39) in patients suffering from MDS (n = 52) and chronic myelomonocytic leukemia-1 (n = 2).

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Jun
2016

Although deficits in emotional processing are prominent in schizophrenia, it has been difficult to identify neural mechanisms related to the genetic risk for this highly heritable illness. Prior studies have not found consistent regional activation or connectivity alterations in first-degree relatives compared with healthy controls, suggesting that a more comprehensive search for connectomic biomarkers is warranted.
To identify a potential systems-level intermediate phenotype linked to emotion processing in schizophrenia and to examine the psychological association, task specificity, test-retest reliability, and clinical validity of the identified phenotype.

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Jul
2016

Bipolar disorder (BD) and schizophrenia (SCZ) are psychiatric disorders with shared and distinct clinical and genetic features. In both disorders, stress increases the risk for onset or relapse and dysregulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis has been reported. The latter is frequently investigated by measuring changes in the hormonal end product of the HPA axis, i.

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Dec
1969

The dopamine transporter, also known as solute carrier 6A3 (SLC6A3), plays an important role in synaptic transmission by regulating the reuptake of dopamine in the synapses. In line with this, variations in the gene encoding this transporter have been linked to both schizophrenia and affective disorders. Recently, copy number variants (CNVs) in SLC6A3 have been identified in healthy subjects but so far, the implication of CNVs affecting this gene in psychiatric diseases has not been addressed.

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Dec
2015

Sex is a powerful modulator of disease susceptibility, course and outcome. The gene CACNA1C is among the best replicated vulnerability genes of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether sex and a variant in CACNA1C (rs10774035 as a proxy for the well-acknowledged risk variant rs1006737) influence psychosocial adaptation in a large German patient sample with schizophrenia-spectrum (n=297) and bipolar (n=516) disorders.

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Dec
1969

Research has demonstrated an association between exposure to early life stress and an increased risk of psychiatric disorders in later life, in particular depression. However, the mechanism through which early life stress contributes to disease development remains unclear. Previous studies have reported an association between early life stress and altered methylation of the serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4), a key candidate gene for several psychiatric disorders.

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Feb
2016

As evidenced by a multitude of studies, abnormalities in Theory of Mind (ToM) and its neural processing might constitute an intermediate phenotype of schizophrenia. If so, neural alterations during ToM should be observable in unaffected relatives of patients as well, since they share a considerable amount of genetic risk. While behaviorally, impaired ToM function is confirmed meta-analytically in relatives, evidence on aberrant function of the neural ToM network is sparse and inconclusive.

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Jul
2015

Transcription factor 4 (TCF4) is one of the most robust of all reported schizophrenia risk loci and is supported by several genetic and functional lines of evidence. While numerous studies have implicated common genetic variation at TCF4 in schizophrenia risk, the role of rare, small-sized variants at this locus-such as single nucleotide variants and short indels which are below the resolution of chip-based arrays requires further exploration. The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between rare TCF4 sequence variants and schizophrenia.

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Sep
2015

Epigenetic modulations are a hypothesized link between environmental factors and the development of psychiatric disorders. Research has suggested that patients with depression or bipolar disorder exhibit higher methylation levels in the glucocorticoid receptor gene NR3C1. We aimed to investigate whether NR3C1 methylation changes are similarly associated with externalizing disorders such as aggressive behavior and conduct disorder.

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Oct
2015

Genome-wide association studies have reported an association between NCAN rs1064395 genotype and bipolar disorder. This association was later extended to schizophrenia and major depression. However, the neurobiological underpinnings of these associations are poorly understood.

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Dec
2015

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a frequent anxiety disorder with higher prevalence rates in female patients than in male patients (2.5:1). Association with a single nucleotide polymorphism (rs2267735) in the gene ADCYAP1R1 encoding the type I receptor (PAC1-R) of the pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide has been reported with PTSD in female patients.

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Oct
2014

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been shown to be a moderator of neuroplasticity. A frequent BDNF-polymorphism (Val66Met) is associated with impairments of cortical plasticity. In patients with schizophrenia, reduced neuroplastic responses following non-invasive brain stimulation have been reported consistently.

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Mar
2016

Converging evidence emphasizes the role of an interaction between monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) genotype, environmental adversity, and sex in the pathophysiology of aggression. The present study aimed to clarify the impact of this interaction on neural activity in aggression-related brain systems. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed in 125 healthy adults from a high-risk community sample followed since birth.

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Dec
2014

The objective of this study was to investigate the hypothesis that borderline personality disorder (BPD) and bipolar disorder (BD) share genetic variation through analysis of known genetic risk factors for BD in a well-characterized BPD case-control cohort. Genotyping of five genome-wide significant variants identified for BD (in CACNA1C, ANK3, and ODZ4) was performed in 673 BPD cases and 748 controls. A nominally significant association with BPD was found for rs1006737 in CACNA1C (P=0.

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Jan
2015

The A allele of the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs1064395 in the NCAN gene has recently been identified as a susceptibility factor for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. NCAN encodes neurocan, a brain-specific chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan that is thought to influence neuronal adhesion and migration. Several lines of research suggest an impact of NCAN on neurocognitive functioning.

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Jan
2015

Genetic factors have as large role as environmental factors in the etiology of alcohol dependence (AD). Although genome-wide association studies (GWAS) enable systematic searches for loci not hitherto implicated in the etiology of AD, many true findings may be missed owing to correction for multiple testing. The aim of the present study was to circumvent this limitation by searching for biological system-level differences, and then following up these findings in humans and animals.

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Nov
2014

Despite heritability estimates of 37-69%, research has identified few genetic risk variants for borderline personality disorder (BPD). The present collaborative candidate gene study of 987 BPD cases and 1110 healthy controls found an association between BPD and single nucleotide polymorphism rs12718541 in the dopa decarboxylase gene.

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Mar
2015

Enhanced endocannabinoid signaling has been implicated in typically adolescent behavioral features such as increased risk-taking, impulsivity and novelty seeking. Research investigating the impact of genetic variants in the cannabinoid receptor 1 gene (CNR1) and of early rearing conditions has demonstrated that both factors contribute to the prediction of impulsivity-related phenotypes. The present study aimed to test the hypothesis of an interaction of the two most studied CNR1 polymorphisms rs806379 and rs1049353 with early psychosocial adversity in terms of affecting impulsivity in 15-year-olds from an epidemiological cohort sample followed since birth.

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Jul
2014

Functional interactions between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and hippocampus during working memory have been studied extensively as an intermediate phenotype for schizophrenia. Coupling abnormalities have been found in patients, their unaffected siblings, and carriers of common genetic variants associated with schizophrenia, but the global genetic architecture of this imaging phenotype is unclear. To achieve genome-wide hypothesis-free identification of genes and pathways associated with prefrontal-hippocampal interactions, we combined gene set enrichment analysis with whole-genome genotyping and functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 269 healthy German volunteers.

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Jun
2014

In the present study, an integrated hierarchical approach was applied to: (1) identify pathways associated with susceptibility to schizophrenia; (2) detect genes that may be potentially affected in these pathways since they contain an associated polymorphism; and (3) annotate the functional consequences of such single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the affected genes or their regulatory regions. The Global Test was applied to detect schizophrenia-associated pathways using discovery and replication datasets comprising 5,040 and 5,082 individuals of European ancestry, respectively. Information concerning functional gene-sets was retrieved from the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes, Gene Ontology, and the Molecular Signatures Database.

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Dec
1969

Accumulating evidence suggests a role of FKBP5, a co-chaperone regulating the glucocorticoid receptor sensitivity, in the etiology of depression and anxiety disorders. Based on recent findings of altered amygdala activity following childhood adversity, the present study aimed at clarifying the impact of genetic variation in FKBP5 on threat-related neural activity and coupling as well as morphometric alterations in stress-sensitive brain systems. Functional magnetic resonance imaging during an emotional face-matching task was performed in 153 healthy young adults (66 males) from a high-risk community sample followed since birth.

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