Here, we provide an overview of previous family studies of addiction and present a new family study based on clinical data for more than 19,000 individuals who have been treated for addiction in Iceland over the last three decades. Coupled with the extensive Icelandic genealogy information, this population-based sample provides a unique opportunity for family studies. The relative risk (RR) was determined for up to fifth-degree relatives of probands diagnosed with alcohol, cannabis, sedative, and amphetamine dependence. We observe highly significant RR values for all substances ranging from 2.27 for alcohol to 7.3 for amphetamine, for first-degree relatives, and RRs significantly above 1 for distant relations, where the effect of shared environmental factors is minimized. The magnitude of risk in psychostimulant dependence is particularly striking. These findings emphasize the role of genetics in the etiology of addiction and highlight the importance of substance-specific effects.
This article describes psychometric testing of an Icelandic adaptation of the Adult Reading History Questionnaire (ARHQ), designed to detect a history of reading difficulties indicative of dyslexia. Tested in a large and diverse sample of 2,187 adults, the Icelandic adaptation demonstrated internal consistency reliability (Cronbach's alpha = .92) and test-retest reliability (r = .93). Validity was established by comparing scores of adults who as children received ICD-10 diagnoses of specific reading disorder (F81.0; n = 419) to those of adults defined as nondyslexics (n = 679). ROC curve analysis resulted in an area under the curve of .92 (95% CI = .90, .93, p
Gilles de la Tourette syndrome (GTS) is a complex neuropsychiatric disorder with a strong genetic influence where copy number variations are suggested to play a role in disease pathogenesis. In a previous small-scale copy number variation study of a GTS cohort (n = 111), recurrent exon-affecting microdeletions of four genes, including the gene encoding arylacetamide deacetylase (AADAC), were observed and merited further investigations.
We screened a Danish cohort of 243 GTS patients and 1571 control subjects for submicroscopic deletions and duplications of these four genes. The most promising candidate gene, AADAC, identified in this Danish discovery sample was further investigated in cohorts from Iceland, the Netherlands, Hungary, Germany, and Italy, and a final meta-analysis, including a total of 1181 GTS patients and 118,730 control subjects from these six European countries, was performed. Subsequently, expression of the candidate gene in the central nervous system was investigated using human and mouse brain tissues.
In the Danish cohort, we identified eight patients with overlapping deletions of AADAC. Investigation of the additional five countries showed a significant association between the AADAC deletion and GTS, and a final meta-analysis confirmed the significant association (p = 4.4 ? 10(-4); odds ratio = 1.9; 95% confidence interval = 1.33-2.71). Furthermore, RNA in situ hybridization and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction studies revealed that AADAC is expressed in several brain regions previously implicated in GTS pathology.
AADAC is a candidate susceptibility factor for GTS and the present findings warrant further genomic and functional studies to investigate the role of this gene in the pathogenesis of GTS.
Comment In: Biol Psychiatry. 2016 Mar 1;79(5):341-226847659
BACKGROUND: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of irreversible visual impairment in the developed world. The two forms of advanced AMD, geographic atrophy and neovascular AMD, represent different pathological processes in the macula that lead to loss of central vision. Soft drusen, characterized by deposits in the macula without visual loss, are considered to be a precursor of advanced AMD. Recently, it has been proposed that a common missense variant, Y402H, in the Complement Factor H (CFH) gene increases the risk for advanced AMD. However, its impact on soft drusen, GA, or neovascular AMD--or the relationship between them--is unclear. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We genotyped 581 Icelandic patients with advanced AMD (278 neovascular AMD, 203 GA, and 100 with mixed neovascular AMD/GA), and 435 with early AMD (of whom 220 had soft drusen). A second cohort of 431 US patients from Utah, 322 with advanced AMD (244 neovascular AMD and 78 GA) and 109 early-AMD cases with soft drusen, were analyzed. We confirmed that the CFH Y402H variant shows significant association to advanced AMD, with odds ratio of 2.39 in Icelandic patients (p = 5.9 x 10(-12)) and odds ratio of 2.14 in US patients from Utah (p = 2.0 x 10(-9)) with advanced AMD. Furthermore, we show that the Y402H variant confers similar risk of soft drusen and both forms of advanced AMD (GA or neovascular AMD). CONCLUSION: Soft drusen occur prior to progression to advanced AMD and represent a histological feature shared by neovascular AMD and GA. Our results suggest that CFH is a major risk factor of soft drusen, and additional genetic factors and/or environmental factors may be required for progression to advanced AMD.
We identified a paracentric inversion of chromosome 10 [inv(10)(q11.22q21.1)] in 0.20% of Swedish individuals (15/7,439) referred for cytogenetic analysis. A retrospective analysis of 8,896 karyotypes from amniocenteses in Sweden revealed a carrier frequency of 0.079% (7/8,896) for the inversion. Cloning and detailed analysis of the inversion breakpoint regions show enrichment for interspersed repeat elements and AT-stretches. The centromeric breakpoint coincides with that of a predicted inversion from HapMap data, which suggests that this region is involved in several chromosome 10 variants. No known gene or predicted transcript are disrupted by the inversion which spans approximately 12 Mb. Carriers from four non-related Swedish families have identical inversion breakpoints and haplotype analysis confirmed that the rearrangement is identical by descent. Diagnosis was retrieved in 6 out of the 15 carriers referred for cytogenetic analysis. No consistent phenotype was found to be associated with the inversion. Our study demonstrates that the inv(10)(q11.22q21.1) is a rare and inherited chromosome variant with a broad geographical distribution in Sweden.
In a small fraction of patients with schizophrenia or autism, alleles of copy-number variants (CNVs) in their genomes are probably the strongest factors contributing to the pathogenesis of the disease. These CNVs may provide an entry point for investigations into the mechanisms of brain function and dysfunction alike. They are not fully penetrant and offer an opportunity to study their effects separate from that of manifest disease. Here we show in an Icelandic sample that a few of the CNVs clearly alter fecundity (measured as the number of children by age 45). Furthermore, we use various tests of cognitive function to demonstrate that control subjects carrying the CNVs perform at a level that is between that of schizophrenia patients and population controls. The CNVs do not all affect the same cognitive domains, hence the cognitive deficits that drive or accompany the pathogenesis vary from one CNV to another. Controls carrying the chromosome 15q11.2 deletion between breakpoints 1 and 2 (15q11.2(BP1-BP2) deletion) have a history of dyslexia and dyscalculia, even after adjusting for IQ in the analysis, and the CNV only confers modest effects on other cognitive traits. The 15q11.2(BP1-BP2) deletion affects brain structure in a pattern consistent with both that observed during first-episode psychosis in schizophrenia and that of structural correlates in dyslexia.
A refined physical map of chromosome 17q21.31 uncovered a 900-kb inversion polymorphism. Chromosomes with the inverted segment in different orientations represent two distinct lineages, H1 and H2, that have diverged for as much as 3 million years and show no evidence of having recombined. The H2 lineage is rare in Africans, almost absent in East Asians but found at a frequency of 20% in Europeans, in whom the haplotype structure is indicative of a history of positive selection. Here we show that the H2 lineage is undergoing positive selection in the Icelandic population, such that carrier females have more children and have higher recombination rates than noncarriers.
Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness. A genome-wide search yielded multiple single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the 15q24.1 region associated with glaucoma. Further investigation revealed that the association is confined to exfoliation glaucoma (XFG). Two nonsynonymous SNPs in exon 1 of the gene LOXL1 explain the association, and the data suggest that they confer risk of XFG mainly through exfoliation syndrome (XFS). About 25% of the general population is homozygous for the highest-risk haplotype, and their risk of suffering from XFG is more than 100 times that of individuals carrying only low-risk haplotypes. The population-attributable risk is more than 99%. The product of LOXL1 catalyzes the formation of elastin fibers found to be a major component of the lesions in XFG.
Comment In: Am J Ophthalmol. 2007 Dec;144(6):974-97518036875
Implicating particular genes in the generation of complex brain and behavior phenotypes requires multiple lines of evidence. The rarity of most high-impact genetic variants typically precludes the possibility of accruing statistical evidence that they are associated with a given trait. We found that the enrichment of a rare chromosome 22q11.22 deletion in a recently expanded Northern Finnish sub-isolate enabled the detection of association between TOP3B and both schizophrenia and cognitive impairment. Biochemical analysis of TOP3ß revealed that this topoisomerase was a component of cytosolic messenger ribonucleoproteins (mRNPs) and was catalytically active on RNA. The recruitment of TOP3ß to mRNPs was independent of RNA cis-elements and was coupled to the co-recruitment of FMRP, the disease gene product in fragile X mental retardation syndrome. Our results indicate a previously unknown role for TOP3ß in mRNA metabolism and suggest that it is involved in neurodevelopmental disorders.
Cites: Nat Genet. 2011 Sep;43(9):838-4621841781
Cites: Am J Hum Biol. 2011 Nov-Dec;23(6):764-7321957002
Cites: Int J Obes (Lond). 2011 Oct;35(10):1289-9421829157
We propose two methods to evaluate the statistical significance of differences in linkage disequilibrium (LD) between populations, where LD is measured by the standardised parameter D'. The first method is based on bootstrapping individuals within populations in order to test LD differences for each pair of loci. Using this approach we propose a solution to the problem of testing multiple locus-pairs by means of a single test for the number of pairs that exhibit significant LD differences among populations. The second method provides the Bayesian posterior probability that one population has greater LD than the other for each locus pair. Both methods can handle genotypes with unknown phase, and are demonstrated using two data sets. For the purpose of demonstration, we apply the methods to two different sets of data from humans. First, we explore the issue of LD differences between reproductively isolated populations using a new data set of twelve Xq25 microsatellites, typed in four European populations. Second, we examine evidence for LD differences between Alzheimer cases and controls from the Icelandic population using 19 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from a 97 kb region flanking the Apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene on chromosome 19.