Several copy number variants have been associated with neuropsychiatric disorders and these variants have been shown to also influence cognitive abilities in carriers unaffected by psychiatric disorders. Previously, we associated the 15q11.2(BP1-BP2) deletion with specific learning disabilities and a larger corpus callosum. Here we investigate, in a much larger sample, the effect of the 15q11.2(BP1-BP2) deletion on cognitive, structural and functional correlates of dyslexia and dyscalculia. We report that the deletion confers greatest risk of the combined phenotype of dyslexia and dyscalculia. We also show that the deletion associates with a smaller left fusiform gyrus. Moreover, tailored functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments using phonological lexical decision and multiplication verification tasks demonstrate altered activation in the left fusiform and the left angular gyri in carriers. Thus, by using convergent evidence from neuropsychological testing, and structural and functional neuroimaging, we show that the 15q11.2(BP1-BP2) deletion affects cognitive, structural and functional correlates of both dyslexia and dyscalculia.
Smoking influences body weight such that smokers weigh less than non-smokers and smoking cessation often leads to weight increase. The relationship between body weight and smoking is partly explained by the effect of nicotine on appetite and metabolism. However, the brain reward system is involved in the control of the intake of both food and tobacco. We evaluated the effect of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) affecting body mass index (BMI) on smoking behavior, and tested the 32 SNPs identified in a meta-analysis for association with two smoking phenotypes, smoking initiation (SI) and the number of cigarettes smoked per day (CPD) in an Icelandic sample (N=34,216 smokers). Combined according to their effect on BMI, the SNPs correlate with both SI (r=0.019, P=0.00054) and CPD (r=0.032, P=8.0 ? 10(-7)). These findings replicate in a second large data set (N=127,274, thereof 76,242 smokers) for both SI (P=1.2 ? 10(-5)) and CPD (P=9.3 ? 10(-5)). Notably, the variant most strongly associated with BMI (rs1558902-A in FTO) did not associate with smoking behavior. The association with smoking behavior is not due to the effect of the SNPs on BMI. Our results strongly point to a common biological basis of the regulation of our appetite for tobacco and food, and thus the vulnerability to nicotine addiction and obesity.
OBJECTIVE: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis. Although there is a large body of evidence suggesting that RA is immune mediated, the etiology remains unresolved. Twin studies have shown disease concordance rates of approximately 15% in monozygotic twins and 4% in dizygotic twins, while the estimated risk ratio for siblings of RA patients ranges from 5 to 8. Our goal was to use genealogic data from Iceland to further investigate the genetic component of RA. METHODS: Data were obtained from a population-based, computerized genealogy database that was developed to examine multigenerational relationships among individuals in the relatively homogeneous population of Iceland. Using an algorithm, the minimum founder test, we calculated the least number of founders required to account for a list of RA patients, and compared it with 1,000 sets of same-sized matched control groups. In addition, we estimated the kinship coefficient and risk ratios for relatives of the RA patients. RESULTS: Several familial clustering tests demonstrated that the RA patients were more related to each other than were the average control set of Icelanders. A significantly fewer number of founders was necessary to account for our patient list than for the random sets of matched controls (P
We present association results from a large genome-wide association study of tooth agenesis (TA) as well as selective TA, including 1,944 subjects with congenitally missing teeth, excluding third molars, and 338,554 controls, all of European ancestry. We also tested the association of previously identified risk variants, for timing of tooth eruption and orofacial clefts, with TA. We report associations between TA and 9 novel risk variants. Five of these variants associate with selective TA, including a variant conferring risk of orofacial clefts. These results contribute to a deeper understanding of the genetic architecture of tooth development and disease. The few variants previously associated with TA were uncovered through candidate gene studies guided by mouse knockouts. Knowing the etiology and clinical features of TA is important for planning oral rehabilitation that often involves an interdisciplinary approach.
Using Icelandic whole-genome sequence data and an imputation approach we searched for rare sequence variants in CHRNA4 and tested them for association with nicotine dependence. We show that carriers of a rare missense variant (allele frequency=0.24%) within CHRNA4, encoding an R336C substitution, have greater risk of nicotine addiction than non-carriers as assessed by the Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence (P=1.2 × 10(-4)). The variant also confers risk of several serious smoking-related diseases previously shown to be associated with the D398N substitution in CHRNA5. We observed odds ratios (ORs) of 1.7-2.3 for lung cancer (LC; P=4.0 × 10(-4)), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD; P=9.3 × 10(-4)), peripheral artery disease (PAD; P=0.090) and abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs; P=0.12), and the variant associates strongly with the early-onset forms of LC (OR=4.49, P=2.2 × 10(-4)), COPD (OR=3.22, P=2.9 × 10(-4)), PAD (OR=3.47, P=9.2 × 10(-3)) and AAA (OR=6.44, P=6.3 × 10(-3)). Joint analysis of the four smoking-related diseases reveals significant association (P=6.8 × 10(-5)), particularly for early-onset cases (P=2.1 × 10(-7)). Our results are in agreement with functional studies showing that the human a4ß2 isoform of the channel containing R336C has less sensitivity for its agonists than the wild-type form following nicotine incubation.