News from ISGlobal
There is only scant scientific evidence available on whether the genetic risk for developing specific psychiatric disorders or cognitive traits is manifest in brain structure from childhood and, to date, studies have focused primarily on adult populations. The question remains unanswered. New evidence has now been provided by a study led by a researcher from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) which analysed data from a large paediatric sample.
The study, which has been published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, analysed data from a sample of 1,139 boys and girls aged 10 years drawn from the Dutch Generation R Studycohort. Using polygenic risk scores based on genetic data, the authors calculated each participants' genetic susceptibility to five psychiatric disorders and two cognitive traits.
Polygenic risk was calculated for five psychiatric disorders: ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression. ADHD was the only condition found to be significantly associated with the volume of any part of the brain.
“This study was based on data collected at one specific point in the lives of the participants” explains Silvia Alemany, the lead author. “More research is needed involving measurement of the brain over time to determine whether the polygenic risk for psychiatric disorders or cognitive traits is related to changes in developmental trajectories.”
Silvia Alemany, Philip R. Jansen, Ryan L. Muetzel, Natália Marques, Hanan El Marroun, Vincent W.V. Jaddoe, Tinca J.C. Polderman, Henning Tiemeier, Danielle Posthuma, Tonya White. Common Polygenic Variations for Psychiatric Disorders and Cognition in Relation to Brain Morphology in the General Pediatric Population. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry