Displaying 1 - 73 of 73
  • Guadalupe, T., Kong, X., Akkermans, S. E. A., Fisher, S. E., & Francks, C. (in press). Relations between hemispheric asymmetries of grey matter and auditory processing of spoken syllables in 281 healthy adults. Brain Structure & Function.

    Abstract

    Most people have a right-ear advantage for the perception of spoken syllables, consistent with left hemisphere dominance for speech processing. However, there is considerable variation, with some people showing left-ear advantage. The extent to which this variation is reflected in brain structure remains unclear. We tested for relations between hemispheric asymmetries of auditory processing and of grey matter in 281 adults, using dichotic listening and voxel-based morphometry. This was the largest study of this issue to date. Per-voxel asymmetry indexes were derived for each participant following registration of brain magnetic resonance images to a template that was symmetrized. The asymmetry index derived from dichotic listening was related to grey matter asymmetry in clusters of voxels corresponding to the amygdala and cerebellum lobule VI. There was also a smaller, non-significant cluster in the posterior superior temporal gyrus, a region of auditory cortex. These findings contribute to the mapping of asymmetrical structure-function links in the human brain, and suggest that subcortical structures should be investigated in relation to hemispheric dominance for speech processing, in addition to auditory cortex.
  • Guadalupe, T., Kong, X., Akkermans, S. E. A., Fisher, S. E., & Francks, C. (2021). Relations between hemispheric asymmetries of grey matter and auditory processing of spoken syllables in 281 healthy adults. Brain Structure & Function. Advance online publication. doi:10.1007/s00429-021-02220-z.

    Abstract

    Most people have a right-ear advantage for the perception of spoken syllables, consistent with left hemisphere dominance for speech processing. However, there is considerable variation, with some people showing left-ear advantage. The extent to which this variation is reflected in brain structure remains unclear. We tested for relations between hemispheric asymmetries of auditory processing and of grey matter in 281 adults, using dichotic listening and voxel-based morphometry. This was the largest study of this issue to date. Per-voxel asymmetry indexes were derived for each participant following registration of brain magnetic resonance images to a template that was symmetrized. The asymmetry index derived from dichotic listening was related to grey matter asymmetry in clusters of voxels corresponding to the amygdala and cerebellum lobule VI. There was also a smaller, non-significant cluster in the posterior superior temporal gyrus, a region of auditory cortex. These findings contribute to the mapping of asymmetrical structure–function links in the human brain and suggest that subcortical structures should be investigated in relation to hemispheric dominance for speech processing, in addition to auditory cortex.

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  • Zhong, S., Wei, L., Zhao, C., Yang, L., Di, Z., Francks, C., & Gong, G. (2021). Interhemispheric relationship of genetic influence on human brain connectivity. Cerebral Cortex, 31(1), 77-88. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhaa207.

    Abstract

    To understand the origins of interhemispheric differences and commonalities/coupling in human brain wiring, it is crucial to determine how homologous interregional connectivities of the left and right hemispheres are genetically determined and related. To address this, in the present study, we analyzed human twin and pedigree samples with high-quality diffusion magnetic resonance imaging tractography and estimated the heritability and genetic correlation of homologous left and right white matter (WM) connections. The results showed that the heritability of WM connectivity was similar and coupled between the 2 hemispheres and that the degree of overlap in genetic factors underlying homologous WM connectivity (i.e., interhemispheric genetic correlation) varied substantially across the human brain: from complete overlap to complete nonoverlap. Particularly, the heritability was significantly stronger and the chance of interhemispheric complete overlap in genetic factors was higher in subcortical WM connections than in cortical WM connections. In addition, the heritability and interhemispheric genetic correlations were stronger for long-range connections than for short-range connections. These findings highlight the determinants of the genetics underlying WM connectivity and its interhemispheric relationships, and provide insight into genetic basis of WM connectivity asymmetries in both healthy and disease states.

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    Supplementary data
  • Carrion Castillo, A., Pepe, A., Kong, X., Fisher, S. E., Mazoyer, B., Tzourio-Mazoyer, N., Crivello, F., & Francks, C. (2020). Genetic effects on planum temporale asymmetry and their limited relevance to neurodevelopmental disorders, intelligence or educational attainment. Cortex, 124, 137-153. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2019.11.006.

    Abstract

    Previous studies have suggested that altered asymmetry of the planum temporale (PT) is associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, including dyslexia, schizophrenia, and autism. Shared genetic factors have been suggested to link PT asymmetry to these disorders. In a dataset of unrelated subjects from the general population (UK Biobank, N= 18,057), we found that PT volume asymmetry had a significant heritability of roughly 14%. In genome-wide association analysis, two loci were significantly associated with PT asymmetry, including a coding polymorphism within the gene ITIH5 that is predicted to affect the protein’s function and to be deleterious (rs41298373, P=2.01×10−15), and a locus that affects the expression of the genes BOK and DTYMK (rs7420166, P=7.54×10-10). DTYMK showed left-right asymmetry of mRNA expression in post mortem PT tissue. Cortex-wide mapping of these SNP effects revealed influences on asymmetry that went somewhat beyond the PT. Using publicly available genome-wide association statistics from large-scale studies, we saw no significant genetic correlations of PT asymmetry with autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, educational attainment or intelligence. Of the top two individual loci associated with PT asymmetry, rs41298373 showed a tentative association with intelligence (unadjusted P=0.025), while the locus at BOK/DTYMK showed tentative association with educational attainment (unadjusted Ps<0.05). These findings provide novel insights into the genetic contributions to human brain asymmetry, but do not support a substantial polygenic association of PT asymmetry with cognitive variation and mental disorders, as far as can be discerned with current sample sizes.

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  • Francks, C. (2020). Peer Review Report For: Heritability of language laterality assessed by functional transcranial Doppler ultrasound: a twin study [version 2; peer review: 1 approved, 2 approved with reservations] Wellcome Open Research 2020, 4:161. doi:10.21956/wellcomeopenres.17276.r38148.

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  • Grasby, K. L., Jahanshad, N., Painter, J. N., Colodro-Conde, L., Bralten, J., Hibar, D. P., Lind, P. A., Pizzagalli, F., Ching, C. R. K., McMahon, M. A. B., Shatokhina, N., Zsembik, L. C. P., Thomopoulos, S. I., Zhu, A. H., Strike, L. T., Agartz, I., Alhusaini, S., Almeida, M. A. A., Alnæs, D., Amlien, I. K. and 341 moreGrasby, K. L., Jahanshad, N., Painter, J. N., Colodro-Conde, L., Bralten, J., Hibar, D. P., Lind, P. A., Pizzagalli, F., Ching, C. R. K., McMahon, M. A. B., Shatokhina, N., Zsembik, L. C. P., Thomopoulos, S. I., Zhu, A. H., Strike, L. T., Agartz, I., Alhusaini, S., Almeida, M. A. A., Alnæs, D., Amlien, I. K., Andersson, M., Ard, T., Armstrong, N. J., Ashley-Koch, A., Atkins, J. R., Bernard, M., Brouwer, R. M., Buimer, E. E. L., Bülow, R., Bürger, C., Cannon, D. M., Chakravarty, M., Chen, Q., Cheung, J. W., Couvy-Duchesne, B., Dale, A. M., Dalvie, S., De Araujo, T. K., De Zubicaray, G. I., De Zwarte, S. M. C., Den Braber, A., Doan, N. T., Dohm, K., Ehrlich, S., Engelbrecht, H.-R., Erk, S., Fan, C. C., Fedko, I. O., Foley, S. F., Ford, J. M., Fukunaga, M., Garrett, M. E., Ge, T., Giddaluru, S., Goldman, A. L., Green, M. J., Groenewold, N. A., Grotegerd, D., Gurholt, T. P., Gutman, B. A., Hansell, N. K., Harris, M. A., Harrison, M. B., Haswell, C. C., Hauser, M., Herms, S., Heslenfeld, D. J., Ho, N. F., Hoehn, D., Hoffmann, P., Holleran, L., Hoogman, M., Hottenga, J.-J., Ikeda, M., Janowitz, D., Jansen, I. E., Jia, T., Jockwitz, C., Kanai, R., Karama, S., Kasperaviciute, D., Kaufmann, T., Kelly, S., Kikuchi, M., Klein, M., Knapp, M., Knodt, A. R., Krämer, B., Lam, M., Lancaster, T. M., Lee, P. H., Lett, T. A., Lewis, L. B., Lopes-Cendes, I., Luciano, M., Macciardi, F., Marquand, A. F., Mathias, S. R., Melzer, T. R., Milaneschi, Y., Mirza-Schreiber, N., Moreira, J. C. V., Mühleisen, T. W., Müller-Myhsok, B., Najt, P., Nakahara, S., Nho, K., Olde Loohuis, L. M., Orfanos, D. P., Pearson, J. F., Pitcher, T. L., Pütz, B., Quidé, Y., Ragothaman, A., Rashid, F. M., Reay, W. R., Redlich, R., Reinbold, C. S., Repple, J., Richard, G., Riedel, B. C., Risacher, S. L., Rocha, C. S., Mota, N. R., Salminen, L., Saremi, A., Saykin, A. J., Schlag, F., Schmaal, L., Schofield, P. R., Secolin, R., Shapland, C. Y., Shen, L., Shin, J., Shumskaya, E., Sønderby, I. E., Sprooten, E., Tansey, K. E., Teumer, A., Thalamuthu, A., Tordesillas-Gutiérrez, D., Turner, J. A., Uhlmann, A., Vallerga, C. L., Van der Meer, D., Van Donkelaar, M. M. J., Van Eijk, L., Van Erp, T. G. M., Van Haren, N. E. M., Van Rooij, D., Van Tol, M.-J., Veldink, J. H., Verhoef, E., Walton, E., Wang, M., Wang, Y., Wardlaw, J. M., Wen, W., Westlye, L. T., Whelan, C. D., Witt, S. H., Wittfeld, K., Wolf, C., Wolfers, T., Wu, J. Q., Yasuda, C. L., Zaremba, D., Zhang, Z., Zwiers, M. P., Artiges, E., Assareh, A. A., Ayesa-Arriola, R., Belger, A., Brandt, C. L., Brown, G. G., Cichon, S., Curran, J. E., Davies, G. E., Degenhardt, F., Dennis, M. F., Dietsche, B., Djurovic, S., Doherty, C. P., Espiritu, R., Garijo, D., Gil, Y., Gowland, P. A., Green, R. C., Häusler, A. N., Heindel, W., Ho, B.-C., Hoffmann, W. U., Holsboer, F., Homuth, G., Hosten, N., Jack Jr., C. R., Jang, M., Jansen, A., Kimbrel, N. A., Kolskår, K., Koops, S., Krug, A., Lim, K. O., Luykx, J. J., Mathalon, D. H., Mather, K. A., Mattay, V. S., Matthews, S., Mayoral Van Son, J., McEwen, S. C., Melle, I., Morris, D. W., Mueller, B. A., Nauck, M., Nordvik, J. E., Nöthen, M. M., O’Leary, D. S., Opel, N., Paillère Martinot, M.-L., Pike, G. B., Preda, A., Quinlan, E. B., Rasser, P. E., Ratnakar, V., Reppermund, S., Steen, V. M., Tooney, P. A., Torres, F. R., Veltman, D. J., Voyvodic, J. T., Whelan, R., White, T., Yamamori, H., Adams, H. H. H., Bis, J. C., Debette, S., Decarli, C., Fornage, M., Gudnason, V., Hofer, E., Ikram, M. A., Launer, L., Longstreth, W. T., Lopez, O. L., Mazoyer, B., Mosley, T. H., Roshchupkin, G. V., Satizabal, C. L., Schmidt, R., Seshadri, S., Yang, Q., Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, CHARGE Consortium, EPIGEN Consortium, IMAGEN Consortium, SYS Consortium, Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative, Alvim, M. K. M., Ames, D., Anderson, T. J., Andreassen, O. A., Arias-Vasquez, A., Bastin, M. E., Baune, B. T., Beckham, J. C., Blangero, J., Boomsma, D. I., Brodaty, H., Brunner, H. G., Buckner, R. L., Buitelaar, J. K., Bustillo, J. R., Cahn, W., Cairns, M. J., Calhoun, V., Carr, V. J., Caseras, X., Caspers, S., Cavalleri, G. L., Cendes, F., Corvin, A., Crespo-Facorro, B., Dalrymple-Alford, J. C., Dannlowski, U., De Geus, E. J. C., Deary, I. J., Delanty, N., Depondt, C., Desrivières, S., Donohoe, G., Espeseth, T., Fernández, G., Fisher, S. E., Flor, H., Forstner, A. J., Francks, C., Franke, B., Glahn, D. C., Gollub, R. L., Grabe, H. J., Gruber, O., Håberg, A. K., Hariri, A. R., Hartman, C. A., Hashimoto, R., Heinz, A., Henskens, F. A., Hillegers, M. H. J., Hoekstra, P. J., Holmes, A. J., Hong, L. E., Hopkins, W. D., Hulshoff Pol, H. E., Jernigan, T. L., Jönsson, E. G., Kahn, R. S., Kennedy, M. A., Kircher, T. T. J., Kochunov, P., Kwok, J. B. J., Le Hellard, S., Loughland, C. M., Martin, N. G., Martinot, J.-L., McDonald, C., McMahon, K. L., Meyer-Lindenberg, A., Michie, P. T., Morey, R. A., Mowry, B., Nyberg, L., Oosterlaan, J., Ophoff, R. A., Pantelis, C., Paus, T., Pausova, Z., Penninx, B. W. J. H., Polderman, T. J. C., Posthuma, D., Rietschel, M., Roffman, J. L., Rowland, L. M., Sachdev, P. S., Sämann, P. G., Schall, U., Schumann, G., Scott, R. J., Sim, K., Sisodiya, S. M., Smoller, J. W., Sommer, I. E., St Pourcain, B., Stein, D. J., Toga, A. W., Trollor, J. N., Van der Wee, N. J. A., van 't Ent, D., Völzke, H., Walter, H., Weber, B., Weinberger, D. R., Wright, M. J., Zhou, J., Stein, J. L., Thompson, P. M., & Medland, S. E. (2020). The genetic architecture of the human cerebral cortex. Science, 367(6484): eaay6690. doi:10.1126/science.aay6690.

    Abstract

    The cerebral cortex underlies our complex cognitive capabilities, yet little is known about the specific genetic loci that influence human cortical structure. To identify genetic variants that affect cortical structure, we conducted a genome-wide association meta-analysis of brain magnetic resonance imaging data from 51,665 individuals. We analyzed the surface area and average thickness of the whole cortex and 34 regions with known functional specializations. We identified 199 significant loci and found significant enrichment for loci influencing total surface area within regulatory elements that are active during prenatal cortical development, supporting the radial unit hypothesis. Loci that affect regional surface area cluster near genes in Wnt signaling pathways, which influence progenitor expansion and areal identity. Variation in cortical structure is genetically correlated with cognitive function, Parkinson’s disease, insomnia, depression, neuroticism, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
  • Hoogman, M., Van Rooij, D., Klein, M., Boedhoe, P., Ilioska, I., Li, T., Patel, Y., Postema, M., Zhang-James, Y., Anagnostou, E., Arango, C., Auzias, G., Banaschewski, T., Bau, C. H. D., Behrmann, M., Bellgrove, M. A., Brandeis, D., Brem, S., Busatto, G. F., Calderoni, S. and 60 moreHoogman, M., Van Rooij, D., Klein, M., Boedhoe, P., Ilioska, I., Li, T., Patel, Y., Postema, M., Zhang-James, Y., Anagnostou, E., Arango, C., Auzias, G., Banaschewski, T., Bau, C. H. D., Behrmann, M., Bellgrove, M. A., Brandeis, D., Brem, S., Busatto, G. F., Calderoni, S., Calvo, R., Castellanos, F. X., Coghill, D., Conzelmann, A., Daly, E., Deruelle, C., Dinstein, I., Durston, S., Ecker, C., Ehrlich, S., Epstein, J. N., Fair, D. A., Fitzgerald, J., Freitag, C. M., Frodl, T., Gallagher, L., Grevet, E. H., Haavik, J., Hoekstra, P. J., Janssen, J., Karkashadze, G., King, J. A., Konrad, K., Kuntsi, J., Lazaro, L., Lerch, J. P., Lesch, K.-P., Louza, M. R., Luna, B., Mattos, P., McGrath, J., Muratori, F., Murphy, C., Nigg, J. T., Oberwelland-Weiss, E., O'Gorman Tuura, R. L., O'Hearn, K., Oosterlaan, J., Parellada, M., Pauli, P., Plessen, K. J., Ramos-Quiroga, J. A., Reif, A., Reneman, L., Retico, A., Rosa, P. G. P., Rubia, K., Shaw, P., Silk, T. J., Tamm, L., Vilarroya, O., Walitza, S., Jahanshad, N., Faraone, S. V., Francks, C., Van den Heuvel, O. A., Paus, T., Thompson, P. M., Buitelaar, J. K., & Franke, B. (2020). Consortium neuroscience of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder: The ENIGMA adventure. Human Brain Mapping. Advance online publication. doi:10.1002/hbm.25029.

    Abstract

    Abstract Neuroimaging has been extensively used to study brain structure and function in individuals with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) over the past decades. Two of the main shortcomings of the neuroimaging literature of these disorders are the small sample sizes employed and the heterogeneity of methods used. In 2013 and 2014, the ENIGMA-ADHD and ENIGMA-ASD working groups were respectively, founded with a common goal to address these limitations. Here, we provide a narrative review of the thus far completed and still ongoing projects of these working groups. Due to an implicitly hierarchical psychiatric diagnostic classification system, the fields of ADHD and ASD have developed largely in isolation, despite the considerable overlap in the occurrence of the disorders. The collaboration between the ENIGMA-ADHD and -ASD working groups seeks to bring the neuroimaging efforts of the two disorders closer together. The outcomes of case–control studies of subcortical and cortical structures showed that subcortical volumes are similarly affected in ASD and ADHD, albeit with small effect sizes. Cortical analyses identified unique differences in each disorder, but also considerable overlap between the two, specifically in cortical thickness. Ongoing work is examining alternative research questions, such as brain laterality, prediction of case–control status, and anatomical heterogeneity. In brief, great strides have been made toward fulfilling the aims of the ENIGMA collaborations, while new ideas and follow-up analyses continue that include more imaging modalities (diffusion MRI and resting-state functional MRI), collaborations with other large databases, and samples with dual diagnoses.
  • Kong, X., Tzourio-Mazoyer, N., Joliot, M., Fedorenko, E., Liu, J., Fisher, S. E., & Francks, C. (2020). Gene expression correlates of the cortical network underlying sentence processing. Neurobiology of Language. Advance publication. doi:10.1162/nol_a_00004.

    Abstract

    A pivotal question in modern neuroscience is which genes regulate brain circuits that underlie cognitive functions. However, the field is still in its infancy. Here we report an integrated investigation of the high-level language network (i.e., sentence processing network) in the human cerebral cortex, combining regional gene expression profiles, task fMRI, large-scale neuroimaging meta-analysis, and resting-state functional network approaches. We revealed reliable gene expression-functional network correlations using three different network definition strategies, and identified a consensus set of genes related to connectivity within the sentence-processing network. The genes involved showed enrichment for neural development and actin-related functions, as well as association signals with autism, which can involve disrupted language functioning. Our findings help elucidate the molecular basis of the brain’s infrastructure for language. The integrative approach described here will be useful to study other complex cognitive traits.
  • Kong, X., Postema, M., Guadalupe, T., De Kovel, C. G. F., Boedhoe, P. S. W., Hoogman, M., Mathias, S. R., Van Rooij, D., Schijven, D., Glahn, D. C., Medland, S. E., Jahanshad, N., Thomopoulos, S. I., Turner, J. A., Buitelaar, J., Van Erp, T. G. M., Franke, B., Fisher, S. E., Van den Heuvel, O. A., Schmaal, L. and 2 moreKong, X., Postema, M., Guadalupe, T., De Kovel, C. G. F., Boedhoe, P. S. W., Hoogman, M., Mathias, S. R., Van Rooij, D., Schijven, D., Glahn, D. C., Medland, S. E., Jahanshad, N., Thomopoulos, S. I., Turner, J. A., Buitelaar, J., Van Erp, T. G. M., Franke, B., Fisher, S. E., Van den Heuvel, O. A., Schmaal, L., Thompson, P. M., & Francks, C. (2020). Mapping brain asymmetry in health and disease through the ENIGMA consortium. Human Brain Mapping. Advance online publication. doi:10.1002/hbm.25033.

    Abstract

    Left-right asymmetry of the human brain is one of its cardinal features, and also a complex, multivariate trait. Decades of research have suggested that brain asymmetry may be altered in psychiatric disorders. However, findings have been inconsistent and often based on small sample sizes. There are also open questions surrounding which structures are asymmetrical on average in the healthy population, and how variability in brain asymmetry relates to basic biological variables such as age and sex. Over the last four years, the ENIGMA-Laterality Working Group has published six studies of grey matter morphological asymmetry based on total sample sizes from roughly 3,500 to 17,000 individuals, which were between one and two orders of magnitude larger than those published in previous decades. A population-level mapping of average asymmetry was achieved, including an intriguing fronto-occipital gradient of cortical thickness asymmetry in healthy brains. ENIGMA’s multidataset approach also supported an empirical illustration of reproducibility of hemispheric differences across datasets. Effect sizes were estimated for grey matter asymmetry based on large, international, samples in relation to age, sex, handedness, and brain volume, as well as for three psychiatric disorders:Autism Spectrum Disorder was associated with subtly reduced asymmetry of cortical thickness at regions spread widely over the cortex; Pediatric Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder was associated with altered subcortical asymmetry; Major Depressive Disorder was not significantly associated with changes of asymmetry. Ongoing studies are examining brain asymmetry in other disorders. Moreover, a groundwork has been laid for possibly identifying shared genetic contributions to brain asymmetry and disorders.
  • Kong, X., Boedhoe, P. S. W., Abe, Y., Alonso, P., Ameis, S. H., Arnold, P. D., Assogna, F., Baker, J. T., Batistuzzo, M. C., Benedetti, F., Beucke, J. C., Bollettini, I., Bose, A., Brem, S., Brennan, B. P., Buitelaar, J., Calvo, R., Cheng, Y., Cho, K. I. K., Dallaspezia, S. and 71 moreKong, X., Boedhoe, P. S. W., Abe, Y., Alonso, P., Ameis, S. H., Arnold, P. D., Assogna, F., Baker, J. T., Batistuzzo, M. C., Benedetti, F., Beucke, J. C., Bollettini, I., Bose, A., Brem, S., Brennan, B. P., Buitelaar, J., Calvo, R., Cheng, Y., Cho, K. I. K., Dallaspezia, S., Denys, D., Ely, B. A., Feusner, J., Fitzgerald, K. D., Fouche, J.-P., Fridgeirsson, E. A., Glahn, D. C., Gruner, P., Gürsel, D. A., Hauser, T. U., Hirano, Y., Hoexter, M. Q., Hu, H., Huyser, C., James, A., Jaspers-Fayer, F., Kathmann, N., Kaufmann, C., Koch, K., Kuno, M., Kvale, G., Kwon, J. S., Lazaro, L., Liu, Y., Lochner, C., Marques, P., Marsh, R., Martínez-Zalacaín, I., Mataix-Cols, D., Medland, S. E., Menchón, J. M., Minuzzi, L., Moreira, P. S., Morer, A., Morgado, P., Nakagawa, A., Nakamae, T., Nakao, T., Narayanaswamy, J. C., Nurmi, E. L., O'Neill, J., Pariente, J. C., Perriello, C., Piacentini, J., Piras, F., Piras, F., Pittenger, C., Reddy, Y. J., Rus-Oswald, O. G., Sakai, Y., Sato, J. R., Schmaal, L., Simpson, H. B., Soreni, N., Soriano-Mas, C., Spalletta, G., Stern, E. R., Stevens, M. C., Stewart, S. E., Szeszko, P. R., Tolin, D. F., Tsuchiyagaito, A., Van Rooij, D., Van Wingen, G. A., Venkatasubramanian, G., Wang, Z., Yun, J.-Y., ENIGMA-OCD Working Group, Thompson, P. M., Stein, D. J., Van den Heuvel, O. A., & Francks, C. (2020). Mapping cortical and subcortical asymmetry in obsessive-compulsive disorder: Findings from the ENIGMA Consortium. Biological Psychiatry, 87(12), 1022-1034. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2019.04.022.

    Abstract

    Objective Lateralized dysfunction has been suggested in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). However, it is currently unclear whether OCD is characterized by abnormal patterns of structural brain asymmetry. Here we carried out by far the largest study of brain structural asymmetry in OCD. Method We studied a collection of 16 pediatric datasets (501 OCD patients and 439 healthy controls), as well as 30 adult datasets (1777 patients and 1654 controls) from the OCD Working Group within the ENIGMA (Enhancing Neuro-Imaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis) consortium. Asymmetries of the volumes of subcortical structures, and of regional cortical thickness and surface area measures, were assessed based on T1-weighted MRI scans, using harmonized image analysis and quality control protocols. We investigated possible alterations of brain asymmetry in OCD patients. We also explored potential associations of asymmetry with specific aspects of the disorder and medication status. Results In the pediatric datasets, the largest case-control differences were observed for volume asymmetry of the thalamus (more leftward; Cohen’s d = 0.19) and the pallidum (less leftward; d = -0.21). Additional analyses suggested putative links between these asymmetry patterns and medication status, OCD severity, and/or anxiety and depression comorbidities. No significant case-control differences were found in the adult datasets. Conclusions The results suggest subtle changes of the average asymmetry of subcortical structures in pediatric OCD, which are not detectable in adults with the disorder. These findings may reflect altered neurodevelopmental processes in OCD.
  • Kong, X., ENIGMA Laterality Working Group, & Francks, C. (2020). Reproducibility in the absence of selective reporting: An illustration from large‐scale brain asymmetry research. Human Brain Mapping. Advance online publication. doi:10.1002/hbm.25154.

    Abstract

    The problem of poor reproducibility of scientific findings has received much attention over recent years, in a variety of fields including psychology and neuroscience. The problem has been partly attributed to publication bias and unwanted practices such as p‐hacking. Low statistical power in individual studies is also understood to be an important factor. In a recent multisite collaborative study, we mapped brain anatomical left–right asymmetries for regional measures of surface area and cortical thickness, in 99 MRI datasets from around the world, for a total of over 17,000 participants. In the present study, we revisited these hemispheric effects from the perspective of reproducibility. Within each dataset, we considered that an effect had been reproduced when it matched the meta‐analytic effect from the 98 other datasets, in terms of effect direction and significance threshold. In this sense, the results within each dataset were viewed as coming from separate studies in an “ideal publishing environment,” that is, free from selective reporting and p hacking. We found an average reproducibility rate of 63.2% (SD = 22.9%, min = 22.2%, max = 97.0%). As expected, reproducibility was higher for larger effects and in larger datasets. Reproducibility was not obviously related to the age of participants, scanner field strength, FreeSurfer software version, cortical regional measurement reliability, or regional size. These findings constitute an empirical illustration of reproducibility in the absence of publication bias or p hacking, when assessing realistic biological effects in heterogeneous neuroscience data, and given typically‐used sample sizes.
  • Postema, M., Carrion Castillo, A., Fisher, S. E., Vingerhoets, G., & Francks, C. (2020). The genetics of situs inversus without primary ciliary dyskinesia. Scientific Reports, 10: 3677. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-60589-z.

    Abstract

    Situs inversus (SI), a left-right mirror reversal of the visceral organs, can occur with recessive Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD). However, most people with SI do not have PCD, and the etiology of their condition remains poorly studied. We sequenced the genomes of 15 people with SI, of which six had PCD, as well as 15 controls. Subjects with non-PCD SI in this sample had an elevated rate of left-handedness (five out of nine), which suggested possible developmental mechanisms linking brain and body laterality. The six SI subjects with PCD all had likely recessive mutations in genes already known to cause PCD. Two non-PCD SI cases also had recessive mutations in known PCD genes, suggesting reduced penetrance for PCD in some SI cases. One non-PCD SI case had recessive mutations in PKD1L1, and another in CFAP52 (also known as WDR16). Both of these genes have previously been linked to SI without PCD. However, five of the nine non-PCD SI cases, including three of the left-handers in this dataset, had no obvious monogenic basis for their condition. Environmental influences, or possible random effects in early development, must be considered.

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  • Thompson, P. M., Jahanshad, N., Ching, C. R. K., Salminen, L. E., Thomopoulos, S. I., Bright, J., Baune, B. T., Bertolín, S., Bralten, J., Bruin, W. B., Bülow, R., Chen, J., Chye, Y., Dannlowski, U., De Kovel, C. G. F., Donohoe, G., Eyler, L. T., Faraone, S. V., Favre, P., Filippi, C. A. and 151 moreThompson, P. M., Jahanshad, N., Ching, C. R. K., Salminen, L. E., Thomopoulos, S. I., Bright, J., Baune, B. T., Bertolín, S., Bralten, J., Bruin, W. B., Bülow, R., Chen, J., Chye, Y., Dannlowski, U., De Kovel, C. G. F., Donohoe, G., Eyler, L. T., Faraone, S. V., Favre, P., Filippi, C. A., Frodl, T., Garijo, D., Gil, Y., Grabe, H. J., Grasby, K. L., Hajek, T., Han, L. K. M., Hatton, S. N., Hilbert, K., Ho, T. C., Holleran, L., Homuth, G., Hosten, N., Houenou, J., Ivanov, I., Jia, T., Kelly, S., Klein, M., Kwon, J. S., Laansma, M. A., Leerssen, J., Lueken, U., Nunes, A., O'Neill, J., Opel, N., Piras, F., Piras, F., Postema, M., Pozzi, E., Shatokhina, N., Soriano-Mas, C., Spalletta, G., Sun, D., Teumer, A., Tilot, A. K., Tozzi, L., Van der Merwe, C., Van Someren, E. J. W., Van Wingen, G. A., Völzke, H., Walton, E., Wang, L., Winkler, A. M., Wittfeld, K., Wright, M. J., Yun, J.-Y., Zhang, G., Zhang-James, Y., Adhikari, B. M., Agartz, I., Aghajani, M., Aleman, A., Althoff, R. R., Altmann, A., Andreassen, O. A., Baron, D. A., Bartnik-Olson, B. L., Bas-Hoogendam, J. M., Baskin-Sommers, A. R., Bearden, C. E., Berner, L. A., Boedhoe, P. S. W., Brouwer, R. M., Buitelaar, J. K., Caeyenberghs, K., Cecil, C. A. M., Cohen, R. A., Cole, J. H., Conrod, P. J., De Brito, S. A., De Zwarte, S. M. C., Dennis, E. L., Desrivieres, S., Dima, D., Ehrlich, S., Esopenko, C., Fairchild, G., Fisher, S. E., Fouche, J.-P., Francks, C., Frangou, S., Franke, B., Garavan, H. P., Glahn, D. C., Groenewold, N. A., Gurholt, T. P., Gutman, B. A., Hahn, T., Harding, I. H., Hernaus, D., Hibar, D. P., Hillary, F. G., Hoogman, M., Hulshoff Pol, H. E., Jalbrzikowski, M., Karkashadze, G. A., Klapwijk, E. T., Knickmeyer, R. C., Kochunov, P., Koerte, I. K., Kong, X., Liew, S.-L., Lin, A. P., Logue, M. W., Luders, E., Macciardi, F., Mackey, S., Mayer, A. R., McDonald, C. R., McMahon, A. B., Medland, S. E., Modinos, G., Morey, R. A., Mueller, S. C., Mukherjee, P., Namazova-Baranova, L., Nir, T. M., Olsen, A., Paschou, P., Pine, D. S., Pizzagalli, F., Rentería, M. E., Rohrer, J. D., Sämann, P. G., Schmaal, L., Schumann, G., Shiroishi, M. S., Sisodiya, S. M., Smit, D. J. A., Sønderby, I. E., Stein, D. J., Stein, J. L., Tahmasian, M., Tate, D. F., Turner, J. A., Van den Heuvel, O. A., Van der Wee, N. J. A., Van der Werf, Y. D., Van Erp, T. G. M., Van Haren, N. E. M., Van Rooij, D., Van Velzen, L. S., Veer, I. M., Veltman, D. J., Villalon-Reina, J. E., Walter, H., Whelan, C. D., Wilde, E. A., Zarei, M., Zelman, V., & Enigma Consortium (2020). ENIGMA and global neuroscience: A decade of large-scale studies of the brain in health and disease across more than 40 countries. Translational Psychiatry, 10(1): 100. doi:10.1038/s41398-020-0705-1.

    Abstract

    This review summarizes the last decade of work by the ENIGMA (Enhancing NeuroImaging Genetics through Meta Analysis) Consortium, a global alliance of over 1400 scientists across 43 countries, studying the human brain in health and disease. Building on large-scale genetic studies that discovered the first robustly replicated genetic loci associated with brain metrics, ENIGMA has diversified into over 50 working groups (WGs), pooling worldwide data and expertise to answer fundamental questions in neuroscience, psychiatry, neurology, and genetics. Most ENIGMA WGs focus on specific psychiatric and neurological conditions, other WGs study normal variation due to sex and gender differences, or development and aging; still other WGs develop methodological pipelines and tools to facilitate harmonized analyses of “big data” (i.e., genetic and epigenetic data, multimodal MRI, and electroencephalography data). These international efforts have yielded the largest neuroimaging studies to date in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance use disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders, epilepsy, and 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. More recent ENIGMA WGs have formed to study anxiety disorders, suicidal thoughts and behavior, sleep and insomnia, eating disorders, irritability, brain injury, antisocial personality and conduct disorder, and dissociative identity disorder. Here, we summarize the first decade of ENIGMA’s activities and ongoing projects, and describe the successes and challenges encountered along the way. We highlight the advantages of collaborative large-scale coordinated data analyses for testing reproducibility and robustness of findings, offering the opportunity to identify brain systems involved in clinical syndromes across diverse samples and associated genetic, environmental, demographic, cognitive, and psychosocial factors.

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    41398_2020_705_MOESM1_ESM.pdf
  • Van den Heuvel, O. A., Boedhoe, P. S., Bertolin, S., Bruin, W. B., Francks, C., Ivanov, I., Jahanshad, N., Kong, X., Kwon, J. S., O'Neill, J., Paus, T., Patel, Y., Piras, F., Schmaal, L., Soriano-Mas, C., Spalletta, G., Van Wingen, G. A., Yun, J.-Y., Vriend, C., Simpson, H. B. and 43 moreVan den Heuvel, O. A., Boedhoe, P. S., Bertolin, S., Bruin, W. B., Francks, C., Ivanov, I., Jahanshad, N., Kong, X., Kwon, J. S., O'Neill, J., Paus, T., Patel, Y., Piras, F., Schmaal, L., Soriano-Mas, C., Spalletta, G., Van Wingen, G. A., Yun, J.-Y., Vriend, C., Simpson, H. B., Van Rooij, D., Hoexter, M. Q., Hoogman, M., Buitelaar, J. K., Arnold, P., Beucke, J. C., Benedetti, F., Bollettini, I., Bose, A., Brennan, B. P., De Nadai, A. S., Fitzgerald, K., Gruner, P., Grünblatt, E., Hirano, Y., Huyser, C., James, A., Koch, K., Kvale, G., Lazaro, L., Lochner, C., Marsh, R., Mataix-Cols, D., Morgado, P., Nakamae, T., Nakao, T., Narayanaswamy, J. C., Nurmi, E., Pittenger, C., Reddy, Y. J., Sato, J. R., Soreni, N., Stewart, S. E., Taylor, S. F., Tolin, D., Thomopoulos, S. I., Veltman, D. J., Venkatasubramanian, G., Walitza, S., Wang, Z., Thompson, P. M., Stein, D. J., & ENIGMA-OCD working (2020). An overview of the first 5 years of the ENIGMA obsessive–compulsive disorder working group: The power of worldwide collaboration. Human Brain Mapping. Advance online publication. doi:10.1002/hbm.24972.

    Abstract

    Abstract Neuroimaging has played an important part in advancing our understanding of the neurobiology of obsessive?compulsive disorder (OCD). At the same time, neuroimaging studies of OCD have had notable limitations, including reliance on relatively small samples. International collaborative efforts to increase statistical power by combining samples from across sites have been bolstered by the ENIGMA consortium; this provides specific technical expertise for conducting multi-site analyses, as well as access to a collaborative community of neuroimaging scientists. In this article, we outline the background to, development of, and initial findings from ENIGMA's OCD working group, which currently consists of 47 samples from 34 institutes in 15 countries on 5 continents, with a total sample of 2,323 OCD patients and 2,325 healthy controls. Initial work has focused on studies of cortical thickness and subcortical volumes, structural connectivity, and brain lateralization in children, adolescents and adults with OCD, also including the study on the commonalities and distinctions across different neurodevelopment disorders. Additional work is ongoing, employing machine learning techniques. Findings to date have contributed to the development of neurobiological models of OCD, have provided an important model of global scientific collaboration, and have had a number of clinical implications. Importantly, our work has shed new light on questions about whether structural and functional alterations found in OCD reflect neurodevelopmental changes, effects of the disease process, or medication impacts. We conclude with a summary of ongoing work by ENIGMA-OCD, and a consideration of future directions for neuroimaging research on OCD within and beyond ENIGMA.
  • Carrion Castillo, A., Van der Haegen, L., Tzourio-Mazoyer, N., Kavaklioglu, T., Badillo, S., Chavent, M., Saracco, J., Brysbaert, M., Fisher, S. E., Mazoyer, B., & Francks, C. (2019). Genome sequencing for rightward hemispheric language dominance. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 18(5): e12572. doi:10.1111/gbb.12572.

    Abstract

    Most people have left‐hemisphere dominance for various aspects of language processing, but only roughly 1% of the adult population has atypically reversed, rightward hemispheric language dominance (RHLD). The genetic‐developmental program that underlies leftward language laterality is unknown, as are the causes of atypical variation. We performed an exploratory whole‐genome‐sequencing study, with the hypothesis that strongly penetrant, rare genetic mutations might sometimes be involved in RHLD. This was by analogy with situs inversus of the visceral organs (left‐right mirror reversal of the heart, lungs and so on), which is sometimes due to monogenic mutations. The genomes of 33 subjects with RHLD were sequenced and analyzed with reference to large population‐genetic data sets, as well as 34 subjects (14 left‐handed) with typical language laterality. The sample was powered to detect rare, highly penetrant, monogenic effects if they would be present in at least 10 of the 33 RHLD cases and no controls, but no individual genes had mutations in more than five RHLD cases while being un‐mutated in controls. A hypothesis derived from invertebrate mechanisms of left‐right axis formation led to the detection of an increased mutation load, in RHLD subjects, within genes involved with the actin cytoskeleton. The latter finding offers a first, tentative insight into molecular genetic influences on hemispheric language dominance.

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    gbb12572-sup-0001-AppendixS1.docx
  • Eising, E., Carrion Castillo, A., Vino, A., Strand, E. A., Jakielski, K. J., Scerri, T. S., Hildebrand, M. S., Webster, R., Ma, A., Mazoyer, B., Francks, C., Bahlo, M., Scheffer, I. E., Morgan, A. T., Shriberg, L. D., & Fisher, S. E. (2019). A set of regulatory genes co-expressed in embryonic human brain is implicated in disrupted speech development. Molecular Psychiatry, 24, 1065-1078. doi:10.1038/s41380-018-0020-x.

    Abstract

    Genetic investigations of people with impaired development of spoken language provide windows into key aspects of human biology. Over 15 years after FOXP2 was identified, most speech and language impairments remain unexplained at the molecular level. We sequenced whole genomes of nineteen unrelated individuals diagnosed with childhood apraxia of speech, a rare disorder enriched for causative mutations of large effect. Where DNA was available from unaffected parents, we discovered de novo mutations, implicating genes, including CHD3, SETD1A and WDR5. In other probands, we identified novel loss-of-function variants affecting KAT6A, SETBP1, ZFHX4, TNRC6B and MKL2, regulatory genes with links to neurodevelopment. Several of the new candidates interact with each other or with known speech-related genes. Moreover, they show significant clustering within a single co-expression module of genes highly expressed during early human brain development. This study highlights gene regulatory pathways in the developing brain that may contribute to acquisition of proficient speech.

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    Eising_etal_2018sup.pdf
  • Francks, C. (2019). In search of the biological roots of typical and atypical human brain asymmetry. Physics of Life Reviews, 30, 22-24. doi:10.1016/j.plrev.2019.07.004.
  • Francks, C. (2019). Peer Review Report For: Negligible heritability of language laterality assessed by functional transcranial Doppler ultrasound: a twin study [version 1; peer review: 1 approved with reservations]. Wellcome Open Research 2019, 4:161. doi:10.21956/wellcomeopenres.16993.r36877.

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    Link to version 2
  • Gialluisi, A., Andlauer, T. F. M., Mirza-Schreiber, N., Moll, K., Becker, J., Hoffmann, P., Ludwig, K. U., Czamara, D., St Pourcain, B., Brandler, W., Honbolygó, F., Tóth, D., Csépe, V., Huguet, G., Morris, A. P., Hulslander, J., Willcutt, E. G., DeFries, J. C., Olson, R. K., Smith, S. D. and 25 moreGialluisi, A., Andlauer, T. F. M., Mirza-Schreiber, N., Moll, K., Becker, J., Hoffmann, P., Ludwig, K. U., Czamara, D., St Pourcain, B., Brandler, W., Honbolygó, F., Tóth, D., Csépe, V., Huguet, G., Morris, A. P., Hulslander, J., Willcutt, E. G., DeFries, J. C., Olson, R. K., Smith, S. D., Pennington, B. F., Vaessen, A., Maurer, U., Lyytinen, H., Peyrard-Janvid, M., Leppänen, P. H. T., Brandeis, D., Bonte, M., Stein, J. F., Talcott, J. B., Fauchereau, F., Wilcke, A., Francks, C., Bourgeron, T., Monaco, A. P., Ramus, F., Landerl, K., Kere, J., Scerri, T. S., Paracchini, S., Fisher, S. E., Schumacher, J., Nöthen, M. M., Müller-Myhsok, B., & Schulte-Körne, G. (2019). Genome-wide association scan identifies new variants associated with a cognitive predictor of dyslexia. Translational Psychiatry, 9(1): 77. doi:10.1038/s41398-019-0402-0.

    Abstract

    Developmental dyslexia (DD) is one of the most prevalent learning disorders, with high impact on school and psychosocial development and high comorbidity with conditions like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, and anxiety. DD is characterized by deficits in different cognitive skills, including word reading, spelling, rapid naming, and phonology. To investigate the genetic basis of DD, we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of these skills within one of the largest studies available, including nine cohorts of reading-impaired and typically developing children of European ancestry (N = 2562–3468). We observed a genome-wide significant effect (p < 1 × 10−8) on rapid automatized naming of letters (RANlet) for variants on 18q12.2, within MIR924HG (micro-RNA 924 host gene; rs17663182 p = 4.73 × 10−9), and a suggestive association on 8q12.3 within NKAIN3 (encoding a cation transporter; rs16928927, p = 2.25 × 10−8). rs17663182 (18q12.2) also showed genome-wide significant multivariate associations with RAN measures (p = 1.15 × 10−8) and with all the cognitive traits tested (p = 3.07 × 10−8), suggesting (relational) pleiotropic effects of this variant. A polygenic risk score (PRS) analysis revealed significant genetic overlaps of some of the DD-related traits with educational attainment (EDUyears) and ADHD. Reading and spelling abilities were positively associated with EDUyears (p ~ [10−5–10−7]) and negatively associated with ADHD PRS (p ~ [10−8−10−17]). This corroborates a long-standing hypothesis on the partly shared genetic etiology of DD and ADHD, at the genome-wide level. Our findings suggest new candidate DD susceptibility genes and provide new insights into the genetics of dyslexia and its comorbities.
  • De Kovel, C. G. F., Carrion Castillo, A., & Francks, C. (2019). A large-scale population study of early life factors influencing left-handedness. Scientific Reports, 9: 584. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-37423-8.

    Abstract

    Hand preference is a conspicuous variation in human behaviour, with a worldwide proportion of around 90% of people preferring to use the right hand for many tasks, and 10% the left hand. We used the large cohort of the UK biobank (~500,000 participants) to study possible relations between early life factors and adult hand preference. The probability of being left-handed was affected by the year and location of birth, likely due to cultural effects. In addition, hand preference was affected by birthweight, being part of a multiple birth, season of birth, breastfeeding, and sex, with each effect remaining significant after accounting for all others. Analysis of genome-wide genotype data showed that left-handedness was very weakly heritable, but shared no genetic basis with birthweight. Although on average left-handers and right-handers differed for a number of early life factors, all together these factors had only a minimal predictive value for individual hand preference.

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  • De Kovel, C. G. F., Aftanas, L., Aleman, A., Alexander-Bloch, A. F., Baune, B. T., Brack, I., Bülow, R., Filho, G. B., Carballedo, A., Connolly, C. G., Cullen, K. R., Dannlowski, U., Davey, C. G., Dima, D., Dohm, K., Erwin-Grabner, T., Frodl, T., Fu, C. H., Hall, G. B., Glahn, D. C. and 58 moreDe Kovel, C. G. F., Aftanas, L., Aleman, A., Alexander-Bloch, A. F., Baune, B. T., Brack, I., Bülow, R., Filho, G. B., Carballedo, A., Connolly, C. G., Cullen, K. R., Dannlowski, U., Davey, C. G., Dima, D., Dohm, K., Erwin-Grabner, T., Frodl, T., Fu, C. H., Hall, G. B., Glahn, D. C., Godlewska, B., Gotlib, I. H., Goya-Maldonado, R., Grabe, H. J., Groenewold, N. A., Grotegerd, D., Gruber, O., Harris, M. A., Harrison, B. J., Hatton, S. N., Hickie, I. B., Ho, T. C., Jahanshad, N., Kircher, T., Krämer, B., Krug, A., Lagopoulos, J., Leehr, E. J., Li, M., MacMaster, F. P., MacQueen, G., McIntosh, A. M., McLellan, Q., Medland, S. E., Mueller, B. A., Nenadic, I., Osipov, E., Papmeyer, M., Portella, M. J., Reneman, L., Rosa, P. G., Sacchet, M. D., Schnell, K., Schrantee, A., Sim, K., Simulionyte, E., Sindermann, L., Singh, A., Stein, D. J., Ubani, B. N., der Wee, N. J. V., der Werff, S. J. V., Veer, I. M., Vives-Gilabert, Y., Völzke, H., Walter, H., Walter, M., Schreiner, M. W., Whalley, H., Winter, N., Wittfeld, K., Yang, T. T., Yüksel, D., Zaremba, D., Thompson, P. M., Veltman, D. J., Schmaal, L., & Francks, C. (2019). No alterations of brain structural asymmetry in major depressive disorder: An ENIGMA consortium analysis. American Journal of Psychiatry, 176(12), 1039-1049. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2019.18101144.

    Abstract

    Objective: Asymmetry is a subtle but pervasive aspect of the human brain, and it may be altered in several psychiatric conditions. MRI studies have shown subtle differences of brain anatomy between people with major depressive disorder and healthy control subjects, but few studies have specifically examined brain anatomical asymmetry in relation to this disorder, and results from those studies have remained inconclusive. At the functional level, some electroencephalography studies have indicated left fronto-cortical hypoactivity and right parietal hypoactivity in depressive disorders, so aspects of lateralized anatomy may also be affected. The authors used pooled individual-level data from data sets collected around the world to investigate differences in laterality in measures of cortical thickness, cortical surface area, and subcortical volume between individuals with major depression and healthy control subjects. Methods: The authors investigated differences in the laterality of thickness and surface area measures of 34 cerebral cortical regions in 2,256 individuals with major depression and 3,504 control subjects from 31 separate data sets, and they investigated volume asymmetries of eight subcortical structures in 2,540 individuals with major depression and 4,230 control subjects from 32 data sets. T1-weighted MRI data were processed with a single protocol using FreeSurfer and the Desikan-Killiany atlas. The large sample size provided 80% power to detect effects of the order of Cohen’s d=0.1. Results: The largest effect size (Cohen’s d) of major depression diagnosis was 0.085 for the thickness asymmetry of the superior temporal cortex, which was not significant after adjustment for multiple testing. Asymmetry measures were not significantly associated with medication use, acute compared with remitted status, first episode compared with recurrent status, or age at onset. Conclusions: Altered brain macro-anatomical asymmetry may be of little relevance to major depression etiology in most cases.
  • De Kovel, C. G. F., & Francks, C. (2019). The molecular genetics of hand preference revisited. Scientific Reports, 9: 5986. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-42515-0.

    Abstract

    Hand preference is a prominent behavioural trait linked to human brain asymmetry. A handful of genetic variants have been reported to associate with hand preference or quantitative measures related to it. Most of these reports were on the basis of limited sample sizes, by current standards for genetic analysis of complex traits. Here we performed a genome-wide association analysis of hand preference in the large, population-based UK Biobank cohort (N = 331,037). We used gene-set enrichment analysis to investigate whether genes involved in visceral asymmetry are particularly relevant to hand preference, following one previous report. We found no evidence supporting any of the previously suggested variants or genes, nor that genes involved in visceral laterality have a role in hand preference. It remains possible that some of the previously reported genes or pathways are relevant to hand preference as assessed in other ways, or else are relevant within specific disorder populations. However, some or all of the earlier findings are likely to be false positives, and none of them appear relevant to hand preference as defined categorically in the general population. Our analysis did produce a small number of novel, significant associations, including one implicating the microtubule-associated gene MAP2 in handedness.
  • Postema, M., Van Rooij, D., Anagnostou, E., Arango, C., Auzias, G., Behrmann, M., Busatto Filho, G., Calderoni, S., Calvo, R., Daly, E., Deruelle, C., Di Martino, A., Dinstein, I., Duran, F. L. S., Durston, S., Ecker, C., Ehrlich, S., Fair, D., Fedor, J., Feng, X. and 38 morePostema, M., Van Rooij, D., Anagnostou, E., Arango, C., Auzias, G., Behrmann, M., Busatto Filho, G., Calderoni, S., Calvo, R., Daly, E., Deruelle, C., Di Martino, A., Dinstein, I., Duran, F. L. S., Durston, S., Ecker, C., Ehrlich, S., Fair, D., Fedor, J., Feng, X., Fitzgerald, J., Floris, D. L., Freitag, C. M., Gallagher, L., Glahn, D. C., Gori, I., Haar, S., Hoekstra, L., Jahanshad, N., Jalbrzikowski, M., Janssen, J., King, J. A., Kong, X., Lazaro, L., Lerch, J. P., Luna, B., Martinho, M. M., McGrath, J., Medland, S. E., Muratori, F., Murphy, C. M., Murphy, D. G. M., O'Hearn, K., Oranje, B., Parellada, M., Puig, O., Retico, A., Rosa, P., Rubia, K., Shook, D., Taylor, M., Tosetti, M., Wallace, G. L., Zhou, F., Thompson, P., Fisher, S. E., Buitelaar, J. K., & Francks, C. (2019). Altered structural brain asymmetry in autism spectrum disorder in a study of 54 datasets. Nature Communications, 10: 4958. doi:10.1038/s41467-019-13005-8.

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  • Truong, D. T., Adams, A. K., Paniagua, S., Frijters, J. C., Boada, R., Hill, D. E., Lovett, M. W., Mahone, E. M., Willcutt, E. G., Wolf, M., Defries, J. C., Gialluisi, A., Francks, C., Fisher, S. E., Olson, R. K., Pennington, B. F., Smith, S. D., Bosson-Heenan, J., & Gruen, J. R. (2019). Multivariate genome-wide association study of rapid automatised naming and rapid alternating stimulus in Hispanic American and African–American youth. Journal of Medical Genetics, 56(8), 557-566. doi:10.1136/jmedgenet-2018-105874.

    Abstract

    Background Rapid automatised naming (RAN) and rapid alternating stimulus (RAS) are reliable predictors of reading disability. The underlying biology of reading disability is poorly understood. However, the high correlation among RAN, RAS and reading could be attributable to shared genetic factors that contribute to common biological mechanisms. Objective To identify shared genetic factors that contribute to RAN and RAS performance using a multivariate approach. Methods We conducted a multivariate genome-wide association analysis of RAN Objects, RAN Letters and RAS Letters/Numbers in a sample of 1331 Hispanic American and African–American youth. Follow-up neuroimaging genetic analysis of cortical regions associated with reading ability in an independent sample and epigenetic examination of extant data predicting tissue-specific functionality in the brain were also conducted. Results Genome-wide significant effects were observed at rs1555839 (p=4.03×10−8) and replicated in an independent sample of 318 children of European ancestry. Epigenetic analysis and chromatin state models of the implicated 70 kb region of 10q23.31 support active transcription of the gene RNLS in the brain, which encodes a catecholamine metabolising protein. Chromatin contact maps of adult hippocampal tissue indicate a potential enhancer–promoter interaction regulating RNLS expression. Neuroimaging genetic analysis in an independent, multiethnic sample (n=690) showed that rs1555839 is associated with structural variation in the right inferior parietal lobule. Conclusion This study provides support for a novel trait locus at chromosome 10q23.31 and proposes a potential gene–brain–behaviour relationship for targeted future functional analysis to understand underlying biological mechanisms for reading disability.

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    Supplementary data
  • Devanna, P., Chen, X. S., Ho, J., Gajewski, D., Smith, S. D., Gialluisi, A., Francks, C., Fisher, S. E., Newbury, D. F., & Vernes, S. C. (2018). Next-gen sequencing identifies non-coding variation disrupting miRNA binding sites in neurological disorders. Molecular Psychiatry, 23(5), 1375-1384. doi:10.1038/mp.2017.30.

    Abstract

    Understanding the genetic factors underlying neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders is a major challenge given their prevalence and potential severity for quality of life. While large-scale genomic screens have made major advances in this area, for many disorders the genetic underpinnings are complex and poorly understood. To date the field has focused predominantly on protein coding variation, but given the importance of tightly controlled gene expression for normal brain development and disorder, variation that affects non-coding regulatory regions of the genome is likely to play an important role in these phenotypes. Herein we show the importance of 3 prime untranslated region (3'UTR) non-coding regulatory variants across neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. We devised a pipeline for identifying and functionally validating putatively pathogenic variants from next generation sequencing (NGS) data. We applied this pipeline to a cohort of children with severe specific language impairment (SLI) and identified a functional, SLI-associated variant affecting gene regulation in cells and post-mortem human brain. This variant and the affected gene (ARHGEF39) represent new putative risk factors for SLI. Furthermore, we identified 3′UTR regulatory variants across autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder NGS cohorts demonstrating their impact on neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. Our findings show the importance of investigating non-coding regulatory variants when determining risk factors contributing to neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. In the future, integration of such regulatory variation with protein coding changes will be essential for uncovering the genetic causes of complex neurological disorders and the fundamental mechanisms underlying health and disease

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    mp201730x1.docx
  • Kong, X., Mathias, S. R., Guadalupe, T., ENIGMA Laterality Working Group, Glahn, D. C., Franke, B., Crivello, F., Tzourio-Mazoyer, N., Fisher, S. E., Thompson, P. M., & Francks, C. (2018). Mapping Cortical Brain Asymmetry in 17,141 Healthy Individuals Worldwide via the ENIGMA Consortium. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115(22), E5154-E5163. doi:10.1073/pnas.1718418115.

    Abstract

    Hemispheric asymmetry is a cardinal feature of human brain organization. Altered brain asymmetry has also been linked to some cognitive and neuropsychiatric disorders. Here the ENIGMA consortium presents the largest ever analysis of cerebral cortical asymmetry and its variability across individuals. Cortical thickness and surface area were assessed in MRI scans of 17,141 healthy individuals from 99 datasets worldwide. Results revealed widespread asymmetries at both hemispheric and regional levels, with a generally thicker cortex but smaller surface area in the left hemisphere relative to the right. Regionally, asymmetries of cortical thickness and/or surface area were found in the inferior frontal gyrus, transverse temporal gyrus, parahippocampal gyrus, and entorhinal cortex. These regions are involved in lateralized functions, including language and visuospatial processing. In addition to population-level asymmetries, variability in brain asymmetry was related to sex, age, and intracranial volume. Interestingly, we did not find significant associations between asymmetries and handedness. Finally, with two independent pedigree datasets (N = 1,443 and 1,113, respectively), we found several asymmetries showing significant, replicable heritability. The structural asymmetries identified, and their variabilities and heritability provide a reference resource for future studies on the genetic basis of brain asymmetry and altered laterality in cognitive, neurological, and psychiatric disorders.

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    pnas.1718418115.sapp.pdf
  • De Kovel, C. G. F., Lisgo, S. N., Fisher, S. E., & Francks, C. (2018). Subtle left-right asymmetry of gene expression profiles in embryonic and foetal human brains. Scientific Reports, 8: 12606. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-29496-2.

    Abstract

    Left-right laterality is an important aspect of human –and in fact all vertebrate– brain organization for which the genetic basis is poorly understood. Using RNA sequencing data we contrasted gene expression in left- and right-sided samples from several structures of the anterior central nervous systems of post mortem human embryos and foetuses. While few individual genes stood out as significantly lateralized, most structures showed evidence of laterality of their overall transcriptomic profiles. These left-right differences showed overlap with age-dependent changes in expression, indicating lateralized maturation rates, but not consistently in left-right orientation over all structures. Brain asymmetry may therefore originate in multiple locations, or if there is a single origin, it is earlier than 5 weeks post conception, with structure-specific lateralized processes already underway by this age. This pattern is broadly consistent with the weak correlations reported between various aspects of adult brain laterality, such as language dominance and handedness.
  • De Kovel, C. G. F., Lisgo, S. N., & Francks, C. (2018). Transcriptomic analysis of left-right differences in human embryonic forebrain and midbrain. Scientific Data, 5: 180164. doi:10.1038/sdata.2018.164.

    Abstract

    Left-right asymmetry is subtle but pervasive in the human central nervous system. This asymmetry is initiated early during development, but its mechanisms are poorly known. Forebrains and midbrains were dissected from six human embryos at Carnegie stages 15 or 16, one of which was female. The structures were divided into left and right sides, and RNA was isolated. RNA was sequenced with 100 base-pair paired ends using Illumina Hiseq 4000. After quality control, five paired brain sides were available for midbrain and forebrain. A paired analysis between left- and right sides of a given brain structure across the embryos identified left-right differences. The dataset, consisting of Fastq files and a read count table, can be further used to study early development of the human brain
  • Carrion Castillo, A., Maassen, B., Franke, B., Heister, A., Naber, M., Van der Leij, A., Francks, C., & Fisher, S. E. (2017). Association analysis of dyslexia candidate genes in a Dutch longitudinal sample. European Journal of Human Genetics, 25(4), 452-460. doi:10.1038/ejhg.2016.194.

    Abstract

    Dyslexia is a common specific learning disability with a substantive genetic component. Several candidate genes have been proposed to be implicated in dyslexia susceptibility, such as DYX1C1, ROBO1, KIAA0319, and DCDC2. Associations with variants in these genes have also been reported with a variety of psychometric measures tapping into the underlying processes that might be impaired in dyslexic people. In this study, we first conducted a literature review to select single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in dyslexia candidate genes that had been repeatedly implicated across studies. We then assessed the SNPs for association in the richly phenotyped longitudinal data set from the Dutch Dyslexia Program. We tested for association with several quantitative traits, including word and nonword reading fluency, rapid naming, phoneme deletion, and nonword repetition. In this, we took advantage of the longitudinal nature of the sample to examine if associations were stable across four educational time-points (from 7 to 12 years). Two SNPs in the KIAA0319 gene were nominally associated with rapid naming, and these associations were stable across different ages. Genetic association analysis with complex cognitive traits can be enriched through the use of longitudinal information on trait development.
  • Chen, X. S., Reader, R. H., Hoischen, A., Veltman, J. A., Simpson, N. H., Francks, C., Newbury, D. F., & Fisher, S. E. (2017). Next-generation DNA sequencing identifies novel gene variants and pathways involved in specific language impairment. Scientific Reports, 7: 46105. doi:10.1038/srep46105.

    Abstract

    A significant proportion of children have unexplained problems acquiring proficient linguistic skills despite adequate intelligence and opportunity. Developmental language disorders are highly heritable with substantial societal impact. Molecular studies have begun to identify candidate loci, but much of the underlying genetic architecture remains undetermined. We performed whole-exome sequencing of 43 unrelated probands affected by severe specific language impairment, followed by independent validations with Sanger sequencing, and analyses of segregation patterns in parents and siblings, to shed new light on aetiology. By first focusing on a pre-defined set of known candidates from the literature, we identified potentially pathogenic variants in genes already implicated in diverse language-related syndromes, including ERC1, GRIN2A, and SRPX2. Complementary analyses suggested novel putative candidates carrying validated variants which were predicted to have functional effects, such as OXR1, SCN9A and KMT2D. We also searched for potential “multiple-hit” cases; one proband carried a rare AUTS2 variant in combination with a rare inherited haplotype affecting STARD9, while another carried a novel nonsynonymous variant in SEMA6D together with a rare stop-gain in SYNPR. On broadening scope to all rare and novel variants throughout the exomes, we identified biological themes that were enriched for such variants, including microtubule transport and cytoskeletal regulation.
  • Gialluisi, A., Guadalupe, T., Francks, C., & Fisher, S. E. (2017). Neuroimaging genetic analyses of novel candidate genes associated with reading and language. Brain and Language, 172, 9-15. doi:10.1016/j.bandl.2016.07.002.

    Abstract

    Neuroimaging measures provide useful endophenotypes for tracing genetic effects on reading and language. A recent Genome-Wide Association Scan Meta-Analysis (GWASMA) of reading and language skills (N = 1862) identified strongest associations with the genes CCDC136/FLNC and RBFOX2. Here, we follow up the top findings from this GWASMA, through neuroimaging genetics in an independent sample of 1275 healthy adults. To minimize multiple-testing, we used a multivariate approach, focusing on cortical regions consistently implicated in prior literature on developmental dyslexia and language impairment. Specifically, we investigated grey matter surface area and thickness of five regions selected a priori: middle temporal gyrus (MTG); pars opercularis and pars triangularis in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG-PO and IFG-PT); postcentral parietal gyrus (PPG) and superior temporal gyrus (STG). First, we analysed the top associated polymorphisms from the reading/language GWASMA: rs59197085 (CCDC136/FLNC) and rs5995177 (RBFOX2). There was significant multivariate association of rs5995177 with cortical thickness, driven by effects on left PPG, right MTG, right IFG (both PO and PT), and STG bilaterally. The minor allele, previously associated with reduced reading-language performance, showed negative effects on grey matter thickness. Next, we performed exploratory gene-wide analysis of CCDC136/FLNC and RBFOX2; no other associations surpassed significance thresholds. RBFOX2 encodes an important neuronal regulator of alternative splicing. Thus, the prior reported association of rs5995177 with reading/language performance could potentially be mediated by reduced thickness in associated cortical regions. In future, this hypothesis could be tested using sufficiently large samples containing both neuroimaging data and quantitative reading/language scores from the same individuals.

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  • Guadalupe, T., Mathias, S. R., Van Erp, T. G. M., Whelan, C. D., Zwiers, M. P., Abe, Y., Abramovic, L., Agartz, I., Andreassen, O. A., Arias-Vásquez, A., Aribisala, B. S., Armstrong, N. J., Arolt, V., Artiges, E., Ayesa-Arriola, R., Baboyan, V. G., Banaschewski, T., Barker, G., Bastin, M. E., Baune, B. T. and 141 moreGuadalupe, T., Mathias, S. R., Van Erp, T. G. M., Whelan, C. D., Zwiers, M. P., Abe, Y., Abramovic, L., Agartz, I., Andreassen, O. A., Arias-Vásquez, A., Aribisala, B. S., Armstrong, N. J., Arolt, V., Artiges, E., Ayesa-Arriola, R., Baboyan, V. G., Banaschewski, T., Barker, G., Bastin, M. E., Baune, B. T., Blangero, J., Bokde, A. L., Boedhoe, P. S., Bose, A., Brem, S., Brodaty, H., Bromberg, U., Brooks, S., Büchel, C., Buitelaar, J., Calhoun, V. D., Cannon, D. M., Cattrell, A., Cheng, Y., Conrod, P. J., Conzelmann, A., Corvin, A., Crespo-Facorro, B., Crivello, F., Dannlowski, U., De Zubicaray, G. I., De Zwarte, S. M., Deary, I. J., Desrivières, S., Doan, N. T., Donohoe, G., Dørum, E. S., Ehrlich, S., Espeseth, T., Fernández, G., Flor, H., Fouche, J.-P., Frouin, V., Fukunaga, M., Gallinat, J., Garavan, H., Gill, M., Suarez, A. G., Gowland, P., Grabe, H. J., Grotegerd, D., Gruber, O., Hagenaars, S., Hashimoto, R., Hauser, T. U., Heinz, A., Hibar, D. P., Hoekstra, P. J., Hoogman, M., Howells, F. M., Hu, H., Hulshoff Pol, H. E.., Huyser, C., Ittermann, B., Jahanshad, N., Jönsson, E. G., Jurk, S., Kahn, R. S., Kelly, S., Kraemer, B., Kugel, H., Kwon, J. S., Lemaitre, H., Lesch, K.-P., Lochner, C., Luciano, M., Marquand, A. F., Martin, N. G., Martínez-Zalacaín, I., Martinot, J.-L., Mataix-Cols, D., Mather, K., McDonald, C., McMahon, K. L., Medland, S. E., Menchón, J. M., Morris, D. W., Mothersill, O., Maniega, S. M., Mwangi, B., Nakamae, T., Nakao, T., Narayanaswaamy, J. C., Nees, F., Nordvik, J. E., Onnink, A. M. H., Opel, N., Ophoff, R., Martinot, M.-L.-P., Orfanos, D. P., Pauli, P., Paus, T., Poustka, L., Reddy, J. Y., Renteria, M. E., Roiz-Santiáñez, R., Roos, A., Royle, N. A., Sachdev, P., Sánchez-Juan, P., Schmaal, L., Schumann, G., Shumskaya, E., Smolka, M. N., Soares, J. C., Soriano-Mas, C., Stein, D. J., Strike, L. T., Toro, R., Turner, J. A., Tzourio-Mazoyer, N., Uhlmann, A., Valdés Hernández, M., Van den Heuvel, O. A., Van der Meer, D., Van Haren, N. E.., Veltman, D. J., Venkatasubramanian, G., Vetter, N. C., Vuletic, D., Walitza, S., Walter, H., Walton, E., Wang, Z., Wardlaw, J., Wen, W., Westlye, L. T., Whelan, R., Wittfeld, K., Wolfers, T., Wright, M. J., Xu, J., Xu, X., Yun, J.-Y., Zhao, J., Franke, B., Thompson, P. M., Glahn, D. C., Mazoyer, B., Fisher, S. E., & Francks, C. (2017). Human subcortical asymmetries in 15,847 people worldwide reveal effects of age and sex. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 11(5), 1497-1514. doi:10.1007/s11682-016-9629-z.

    Abstract

    The two hemispheres of the human brain differ functionally and structurally. Despite over a century of research, the extent to which brain asymmetry is influenced by sex, handedness, age, and genetic factors is still controversial. Here we present the largest ever analysis of subcortical brain asymmetries, in a harmonized multi-site study using meta-analysis methods. Volumetric asymmetry of seven subcortical structures was assessed in 15,847 MRI scans from 52 datasets worldwide. There were sex differences in the asymmetry of the globus pallidus and putamen. Heritability estimates, derived from 1170 subjects belonging to 71 extended pedigrees, revealed that additive genetic factors influenced the asymmetry of these two structures and that of the hippocampus and thalamus. Handedness had no detectable effect on subcortical asymmetries, even in this unprecedented sample size, but the asymmetry of the putamen varied with age. Genetic drivers of asymmetry in the hippocampus, thalamus and basal ganglia may affect variability in human cognition, including susceptibility to psychiatric disorders.

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  • Hibar, D. P., Adams, H. H. H., Jahanshad, N., Chauhan, G., Stein, J. L., Hofer, E., Rentería, M. E., Bis, J. C., Arias-Vasquez, A., Ikram, M. K., Desrivieres, S., Vernooij, M. W., Abramovic, L., Alhusaini, S., Amin, N., Andersson, M., Arfanakis, K., Aribisala, B. S., Armstrong, N. J., Athanasiu, L. and 312 moreHibar, D. P., Adams, H. H. H., Jahanshad, N., Chauhan, G., Stein, J. L., Hofer, E., Rentería, M. E., Bis, J. C., Arias-Vasquez, A., Ikram, M. K., Desrivieres, S., Vernooij, M. W., Abramovic, L., Alhusaini, S., Amin, N., Andersson, M., Arfanakis, K., Aribisala, B. S., Armstrong, N. J., Athanasiu, L., Axelsson, T., Beecham, A. H., Beiser, A., Bernard, M., Blanton, S. H., Bohlken, M. M., Boks, M. P., Bralten, J., Brickman, A. M., Carmichael, O., Chakravarty, M. M., Chen, Q., Ching, C. R. K., Chouraki, V., Cuellar-Partida, G., Crivello, F., den Brabander, A., Doan, N. T., Ehrlich, S., Giddaluru, S., Goldman, A. L., Gottesman, R. F., Grimm, O., Griswold, M. E., Guadalupe, T., Gutman, B. A., Hass, J., Haukvik, U. K., Hoehn, D., Holmes, A. J., Hoogman, M., Janowitz, D., Jia, T., Jørgensen, K. N., Mirza-Schreiber, N., Kasperaviciute, D., Kim, S., Klein, M., Krämer, B., Lee, P. H., Liewald, D. C. M., Lopez, L. M., Luciano, M., Macare, C., Marquand, A. F., Matarin, M., Mather, K. A., Mattheisen, M., McKay, D. R., Milaneschi, Y., Maniega, S. M., Nho, K., Nugent, A. C., Nyquist, P., Olde Loohuis, L. M., Oosterlaan, J., Papmeyer, M., Pirpamer, L., Pütz, B., Ramasamy, A., Richards, J. S., Risacher, S., Roiz-Santiañez, R., Rommelse, N., Ropele, S., Rose, E., Royle, N. A., Rundek, T., Sämann, P. G., Saremi, A., Satizabal, C. L., Schmaal, L., Schork, A. J., Shen, L., Shin, J., Shumskaya, E., Smith, A. V., Sprooten, E., Strike, L. T., Teumer, A., Tordesillas-Gutierrez, D., Toro, R., Trabzuni, D., Trompet, S., Vaidya, D., Van der Grond, J., Van der Lee, S. J., Van der Meer, D., Van Donkelaar, M. M. J., Van Eijk, K. R., van Erp, T. G. M., Van Rooij, D., Walton, E., Westlye, L. T., Whelan, C. D., Windham, B. G., Winkler, A. M., Wittfeld, K. M., Woldehawariat, G., Wolf, C., Wolfers, T., Yanek, L. R., Yang, J., Zijdenbos, A., Zwiers, M. P., Agartz, I., Almasy, L., Ames, D., Amouyel, P., Andreassen, O. A., Arepalli, S., Assareh, A. A., Barral, S., Bastin, M. E., Becker, D. M., Becker, J. T., Bennett, D. A., Blangero, J., Van Bokhoven, H., Boomsma, D. I., Brodaty, H., Brouwer, R. M., Brunner, H. G., Buckner, R. L., Buitelaar, J. K., Bulayeva, K. B., Cahn, W., Calhoun, V. D., Cannon, D. M., Cavalleri, G. L., Cheng, C.-Y., Cichon, S., Cookson, M. R., Corvin, A., Crespo-Facorro, B., Curran, J. E., Czisch, M., Dale, A. M., Davies, G. E., De Craen, A. J. M., De Geus, E. J. C., De Jager, P. L., De Zubicaray, G. i., Deary, I. J., Debette, S., DeCarli, C., Delanty, N., Depondt, C., DeStefano, A., Dillman, A., Djurovic, S., Donohoe, G., Drevets, W. C., Duggirala, R., Dyer, T. D., Enzinger, C., Erk, S., Espeseth, T., Fedko, I. O., Fernández, G., Ferrucci, L., Fisher, S. E., Fleischman, D. A., Ford, I., Fornage, M., Foroud, T. M., Fox, P. T., Francks, C., Fukunaga, M., Gibbs, J. R., Glahn, D. C., Gollub, R. L., Göring, H. H. H., Green, R. C., Gruber, O., Gudnason, V., Guelfi, S., Haberg, A. K., Hansell, N. K., Hardy, J., Hartman, C. A., Hashimoto, R., Hegenscheid, K., Heinz, A., Le Hellard, S., Hernandez, D. G., Heslenfeld, D. J., Ho, B.-C., Hoekstra, P. J., Hoffmann, W., Hofman, A., Holsboer, F., Homuth, G., Hosten, N., Hottenga, J.-J., Huentelman, M., Pol, H. E. H., Ikeda, M., Jack Jr., C. R., Jenkinson, M., Johnson, R., Jonsson, E. G., Jukema, J. W., Kahn, R. S., Kanai, R., Kloszewska, I., Knopman, D. S., Kochunov, P., Kwok, J. B., Lawrie, S. M., Lemaître, H., Liu, X., Longo, D. L., Lopez, O. L., Lovestone, S., Martinez, O., Martinot, J.-L., Mattay, V. S., McDonald, C., Mcintosh, A. M., McMahon, F., McMahon, K. L., Mecocci, P., Melle, I., Meyer-Lindenberg, A., Mohnke, S., Montgomery, G. W., Morris, D. W., Mosley, T. H., Mühleisen, T. W., Müller-Myhsok, B., Nalls, M. A., Nauck, M., Nichols, T. E., Niessen, W. J., Nöthen, M. M., Nyberg, L., Ohi, K., Olvera, R. L., Ophoff, R. A., Pandolfo, M., Paus, T., Pausova, Z., Penninx, B. W. J. H., Pike, G. B., Potkin, S. G., Psaty, B. M., Reppermund, S., Rietschel, M., Roffman, J. L., Romanczuk-Seiferth, N., Rotter, J. I., Ryten, M., Sacco, R. L., Sachdev, P. S., Saykin, A. J., Schmidt, R., Schmidt, H., Schofield, P. R., Sigursson, S., Simmons, A., Singleton, A., Sisodiya, S. M., Smith, C., Smoller, J. W., Soininen, H., Steen, V. M., Stott, D. J., Sussmann, J. E., Thalamuthu, A., Toga, A. W., Traynor, B. J., Troncoso, J., Tsolaki, M., Tzourio, C., Uitterlinden, A. G., Hernández, M. C. V., Van der Brug, M., Van der Lugt, A., Van der Wee, N. J. A., Van Haren, N. E. M., Van Tol, M.-J., Vardarajan, B. N., Vellas, B., Veltman, D. J., Völzke, H., Walter, H., Wardlaw, J. M., Wassink, T. H., Weale, M. e., Weinberger, D. R., Weiner, M., Wen, W., Westman, E., White, T., Wong, T. Y., Wright, C. B., Zielke, R. H., Zonderman, A. B., Martin, N. G., Van Duijn, C. M., Wright, M. J., Longstreth, W. W. T., Schumann, G., Grabe, H. J., Franke, B., Launer, L. J., Medland, S. E., Seshadri, S., Thompson, P. M., & Ikram, A. (2017). Novel genetic loci associated with hippocampal volume. Nature Communications, 8: 13624. doi:10.1038/ncomms13624.

    Abstract

    The hippocampal formation is a brain structure integrally involved in episodic memory, spatial navigation, cognition and stress responsiveness. Structural abnormalities in hippocampal volume and shape are found in several common neuropsychiatric disorders. To identify the genetic underpinnings of hippocampal structure here we perform a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 33,536 individuals and discover six independent loci significantly associated with hippocampal volume, four of them novel. Of the novel loci, three lie within genes (ASTN2, DPP4 and MAST4) and one is found 200 kb upstream of SHH. A hippocampal subfield analysis shows that a locus within the MSRB3 gene shows evidence of a localized effect along the dentate gyrus, subiculum, CA1 and fissure. Further, we show that genetic variants associated with decreased hippocampal volume are also associated with increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease (rg=−0.155). Our findings suggest novel biological pathways through which human genetic variation influences hippocampal volume and risk for neuropsychiatric illness.

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  • Kavaklioglu, T., Guadalupe, T., Zwiers, M., Marquand, A. F., Onnink, M., Shumskaya, E., Brunner, H., Fernandez, G., Fisher, S. E., & Francks, C. (2017). Structural asymmetries of the human cerebellum in relation to cerebral cortical asymmetries and handedness. Brain Structure and Function, 22, 1611-1623. doi:10.1007/s00429-016-1295-9.

    Abstract

    There is evidence that the human cerebellum is involved not only in motor control but also in other cognitive functions. Several studies have shown that language-related activation is lateralized toward the right cerebellar hemisphere in most people, in accordance with leftward cerebral cortical lateralization for language and a general contralaterality of cerebral–cerebellar activations. In terms of behavior, hand use elicits asymmetrical activation in the cerebellum, while hand preference is weakly associated with language lateralization. However, it is not known how, or whether, these functional relations are reflected in anatomy. We investigated volumetric gray matter asymmetries of cerebellar lobules in an MRI data set comprising 2226 subjects. We tested these cerebellar asymmetries for associations with handedness, and for correlations with cerebral cortical anatomical asymmetries of regions important for language or hand motor control, as defined by two different automated image analysis methods and brain atlases, and supplemented with extensive visual quality control. No significant associations of cerebellar asymmetries to handedness were found. Some significant associations of cerebellar lobular asymmetries to cerebral cortical asymmetries were found, but none of these correlations were greater than 0.14, and they were mostly method-/atlas-dependent. On the basis of this large and highly powered study, we conclude that there is no overt structural manifestation of cerebellar functional lateralization and connectivity, in respect of hand motor control or language laterality
  • De Kovel, C. G. F., Lisgo, S., Karlebach, G., Ju, J., Cheng, G., Fisher, S. E., & Francks, C. (2017). Left-right asymmetry of maturation rates in human embryonic neural development. Biological Psychiatry, 82(3), 204-212. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2017.01.016.

    Abstract

    Background Left-right asymmetry is a fundamental organizing feature of the human brain, and neuro-psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia sometimes involve alterations of brain asymmetry. As early as 8 weeks post conception, the majority of human fetuses move their right arms more than their left arms, but because nerve fibre tracts are still descending from the forebrain at this stage, spinal-muscular asymmetries are likely to play an important developmental role. Methods We used RNA sequencing to measure gene expression levels in the left and right spinal cords, and left and right hindbrains, of 18 post-mortem human embryos aged 4-8 weeks post conception. Genes showing embryonic lateralization were tested for an enrichment of signals in genome-wide association data for schizophrenia. Results The left side of the embryonic spinal cord was found to mature faster than the right side. Both sides transitioned from transcriptional profiles associated with cell division and proliferation at earlier stages, to neuronal differentiation and function at later stages, but the two sides were not in synchrony (p = 2.2 E-161). The hindbrain showed a left-right mirrored pattern compared to the spinal cord, consistent with the well-known crossing over of function between these two structures. Genes that showed lateralization in the embryonic spinal cord were enriched for association signals with schizophrenia (p = 4.3 E-05). Conclusions These are the earliest-stage left-right differences of human neural development ever reported. Disruption of the lateralised developmental programme may play a role in the genetic susceptibility to schizophrenia.

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  • Ocklenburg, S., Schmitz, J., Moinfar, Z., Moser, D., Klose, R., Lor, S., Kunz, G., Tegenthoff, M., Faustmann, P., Francks, C., Epplen, J. T., Kumsta, R., & Güntürkün, O. (2017). Epigenetic regulation of lateralized fetal spinal gene expression underlies hemispheric asymmetries. eLife, 6: e22784. doi:10.7554/eLife.22784.001.

    Abstract

    Lateralization is a fundamental principle of nervous system organization but its molecular determinants are mostly unknown. In humans, asymmetric gene expression in the fetal cortex has been suggested as the molecular basis of handedness. However, human fetuses already show considerable asymmetries in arm movements before the motor cortex is functionally linked to the spinal cord, making it more likely that spinal gene expression asymmetries form the molecular basis of handedness. We analyzed genome-wide mRNA expression and DNA methylation in cervical and anterior thoracal spinal cord segments of five human fetuses and show development-dependent gene expression asymmetries. These gene expression asymmetries were epigenetically regulated by miRNA expression asymmetries in the TGF-β signaling pathway and lateralized methylation of CpG islands. Our findings suggest that molecular mechanisms for epigenetic regulation within the spinal cord constitute the starting point for handedness, implying a fundamental shift in our understanding of the ontogenesis of hemispheric asymmetries in humans
  • Thompson, P. M., Andreassen, O. A., Arias-Vasquez, A., Bearden, C. E., Boedhoe, P. S., Brouwer, R. M., Buckner, R. L., Buitelaar, J. K., Bulaeva, K. B., Cannon, D. M., Cohen, R. A., Conrod, P. J., Dale, A. M., Deary, I. J., Dennis, E. L., De Reus, M. A., Desrivieres, S., Dima, D., Donohoe, G., Fisher, S. E. and 51 moreThompson, P. M., Andreassen, O. A., Arias-Vasquez, A., Bearden, C. E., Boedhoe, P. S., Brouwer, R. M., Buckner, R. L., Buitelaar, J. K., Bulaeva, K. B., Cannon, D. M., Cohen, R. A., Conrod, P. J., Dale, A. M., Deary, I. J., Dennis, E. L., De Reus, M. A., Desrivieres, S., Dima, D., Donohoe, G., Fisher, S. E., Fouche, J.-P., Francks, C., Frangou, S., Franke, B., Ganjgahi, H., Garavan, H., Glahn, D. C., Grabe, H. J., Guadalupe, T., Gutman, B. A., Hashimoto, R., Hibar, D. P., Holland, D., Hoogman, M., Pol, H. E. H., Hosten, N., Jahanshad, N., Kelly, S., Kochunov, P., Kremen, W. S., Lee, P. H., Mackey, S., Martin, N. G., Mazoyer, B., McDonald, C., Medland, S. E., Morey, R. A., Nichols, T. E., Paus, T., Pausova, Z., Schmaal, L., Schumann, G., Shen, L., Sisodiya, S. M., Smit, D. J., Smoller, J. W., Stein, D. J., Stein, J. L., Toro, R., Turner, J. A., Van den Heuvel, M., Van den Heuvel, O. A., Van Erp, T. G., Van Rooij, D., Veltman, D. J., Walter, H., Wang, Y., Wardlaw, J. M., Whelan, C. D., Wright, M. J., & Ye, J. (2017). ENIGMA and the Individual: Predicting Factors that Affect the Brain in 35 Countries Worldwide. NeuroImage, 145, 389-408. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.11.057.
  • Adams, H. H. H., Hibar, D. P., Chouraki, V., Stein, J. L., Nyquist, P., Renteria, M. E., Trompet, S., Arias-Vasquez, A., Seshadri, S., Desrivières, S., Beecham, A. H., Jahanshad, N., Wittfeld, K., Van der Lee, S. J., Abramovic, L., Alhusaini, S., Amin, N., Andersson, M., Arfanakis, K. A., Aribisala, B. S. and 322 moreAdams, H. H. H., Hibar, D. P., Chouraki, V., Stein, J. L., Nyquist, P., Renteria, M. E., Trompet, S., Arias-Vasquez, A., Seshadri, S., Desrivières, S., Beecham, A. H., Jahanshad, N., Wittfeld, K., Van der Lee, S. J., Abramovic, L., Alhusaini, S., Amin, N., Andersson, M., Arfanakis, K. A., Aribisala, B. S., Armstrong, N. J., Athanasiu, L., Axelsson, T., Beiser, A., Bernard, M., Bis, J. C., Blanken, L. M. E., Blanton, S. H., Bohlken, M. M., Boks, M. P., Bralten, J., Brickman, A. M., Carmichael, O., Chakravarty, M. M., Chauhan, G., Chen, Q., Ching, C. R. K., Cuellar-Partida, G., Den Braber, A., Doan, N. T., Ehrlich, S., Filippi, I., Ge, T., Giddaluru, S., Goldman, A. L., Gottesman, R. F., Greven, C. U., Grimm, O., Griswold, M. E., Guadalupe, T., Hass, J., Haukvik, U. K., Hilal, S., Hofer, E., Höhn, D., Holmes, A. J., Hoogman, M., Janowitz, D., Jia, T., Karbalai, N., Kasperaviciute, D., Kim, S., Klein, M., Krämer, B., Lee–, P. H., Liao, J., Liewald, D. C. M., Lopez, L. M., Luciano, M., Macare, C., Marquand, A., Matarin, M., Mather, K. A., Mattheisen, M., Mazoyer, B., McKay, D. R., McWhirter, R., Milaneschi, Y., Muetzel, R. L., Muñoz Maniega, S., Nho, K., Nugent, A. C., Olde Loohuis, L. M., Oosterlaan, J., Papmeyer, M., Pappa, I., Pirpamer, L., Pudas, S., Pütz, B., Rajan, K. B., Ramasamy, A., Richards, J. S., Risacher, S. L., Roiz-Santiañez, R., Rommelse, N., Rose, E. J., Royle, N. A., Rundek, T., Sämann, P. G., Satizabal, C. L., Schmaal, L., Schork, A. J., Shen, L., Shin, J., Shumskaya, E., Smith, A. V., Sprooten, E., Strike, L. T., Teumer, A., Thomson, R., Tordesillas-Gutierrez, D., Toro, R., Trabzuni, D., Vaidya, D., Van der Grond, J., Van der Meer, D., Van Donkelaar, M. M. J., Van Eijk, K. R., VanErp, T. G. M., Van Rooij, D., Walton, E., Westlye, L. T., Whelan, C. D., Windham, B. G., Winkler, A. M., Woldehawariat, G., Wolf, C., Wolfers, T., Xu, B., Yanek, L. R., Yang, J., Zijdenbos, A., Zwiers, M. P., Agartz, I., Aggarwal, N. T., Almasy, L., Ames, D., Amouyel, P., Andreassen, O. A., Arepalli, S., Assareh, A. A., Barral, S., Bastin, M. E., Becker, J. T., Becker, D. M., Bennett, D. A., Blangero, J., Van Bokhoven, H., Boomsma, D. I., Brodaty, H., Brouwer, R. M., Brunner, H. G., Buckner, R. L., Buitelaar, J. K., Bulayeva, K. B., Cahn, W., Calhoun, V. D., Cannon, D. M., Cavalleri, G. L., Chen, C., Cheng, C.-Y., Cichon, S., Cookson, M. R., Corvin, A., Crespo-Facorro, B., Curran, J. E., Czisch, M., Dale, A. M., Davies, G. E., De Geus, E. J. C., De Jager, P. L., De Zubicaray, G. I., Delanty, N., Depondt, C., DeStefano, A., Dillman, A., Djurovic, S., Donohoe, G., Drevets, W. C., Duggirala, R., Dyer, T. D., Erk, S., Espeseth, T., Evans, D. A., Fedko, I. O., Fernández, G., Ferrucci, L., Fisher, S. E., Fleischman, D. A., Ford, I., Foroud, T. M., Fox, P. T., Francks, C., Fukunaga, M., Gibbs, J. R., Glahn, D. C., Gollub, R. L., Göring, H. H. H., Grabe, H. J., Green, R. C., Gruber, O., Guelfi, S., Hansell, N. K., Hardy, J., Hartman, C. A., Hashimoto, R., Hegenscheid, K., Heinz, A., Le Hellard, S., Hernandez, D. G., Heslenfeld, D. J., Ho, B.-C., Hoekstra, P. J., Hoffmann, W., Hofman, A., Holsboer, F., Homuth, G., Hosten, N., Hottenga, J.-J., Hulshoff Pol, H. E., Ikeda, M., Ikram, M. K., Jack Jr, C. R., Jenkinson, M., Johnson, R., Jönsson, E. G., Jukema, J. W., Kahn, R. S., Kanai, R., Kloszewska, I., Knopman, D. S., Kochunov, P., Kwok, J. B., Launer, L. J., Lawrie, S. M., Lemaître, H., Liu, X., Longo, D. L., Longstreth Jr, W. T., Lopez, O. L., Lovestone, S., Martinez, O., Martinot, J.-L., Mattay, V. S., McDonald, C., McIntosh, A. M., McMahon, F. J., McMahon, K. L., Mecocci, P., Melle, I., Meyer-Lindenberg, A., Mohnke, S., Montgomery, G. W., Morris, D. W., Mosley, T. H., Mühleisen, T. W., Müller-Myhsok, B., Nalls, M. A., Nauck, M., Nichols, T. E., Niessen, W. J., Nöthen, M. M., Nyberg, L., Ohi, K., Olvera, R. L., Ophoff, R. A., Pandolfo, M., Paus, T., Pausova, Z., Penninx, B. W. J. H., Pike, G. B., Potkin, S. G., Psaty, B. M., Reppermund, S., Rietschel, M., Roffman, J. L., Romanczuk-Seiferth, N., Rotter, J. I., Ryten, M., Sacco, R. L., Sachdev, P. S., Saykin, A. J., Schmidt, R., Schofield, P. R., Sigursson, S., Simmons, A., Singleton, A., Sisodiya, S. M., Smith, C., Smoller, J. W., Soininen, H., Srikanth, V., Steen, V. M., Stott, D. J., Sussmann, J. E., Thalamuthu, A., Tiemeier, H., Toga, A. W., Traynor, B., Troncoso, J., Turner, J. A., Tzourio, C., Uitterlinden, A. G., Valdés Hernández, M. C., Van der Brug, M., Van der Lugt, A., Van der Wee, N. J. A., Van Duijn, C. M., Van Haren, N. E. M., Van 't Ent, D., Van Tol, M.-J., Vardarajan, B. N., Veltman, D. J., Vernooij, M. W., Völzke, H., Walter, H., Wardlaw, J. M., Wassink, T. H., Weale, M. E., Weinberger, D. R., Weiner, M. W., Wen, W., Westman, E., White, T., Wong, T. Y., Wright, C. B., Zielke, R. H., Zonderman, A. B., the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, EPIGEN, IMAGEN, SYS, Deary, I. J., DeCarli, C., Schmidt, H., Martin, N. G., De Craen, A. J. M., Wright, M. J., Gudnason, V., Schumann, G., Fornage, M., Franke, B., Debette, S., Medland, S. E., Ikram, M. A., & Thompson, P. M. (2016). Novel genetic loci underlying human intracranial volume identified through genome-wide association. Nature Neuroscience, 19, 1569-1582. doi:10.1038/nn.4398.

    Abstract

    Intracranial volume reflects the maximally attained brain size during development, and remains stable with loss of tissue in late life. It is highly heritable, but the underlying genes remain largely undetermined. In a genome-wide association study of 32,438 adults, we discovered five previously unknown loci for intracranial volume and confirmed two known signals. Four of the loci were also associated with adult human stature, but these remained associated with intracranial volume after adjusting for height. We found a high genetic correlation with child head circumference (genetic = 0.748), which indicates a similar genetic background and allowed us to identify four additional loci through meta-analysis (Ncombined = 37,345). Variants for intracranial volume were also related to childhood and adult cognitive function, and Parkinson’s disease, and were enriched near genes involved in growth pathways, including PI3K-AKT signaling. These findings identify the biological underpinnings of intracranial volume and provide genetic support for theories on brain reserve and brain overgrowth.
  • Becker, M., Guadalupe, T., Franke, B., Hibar, D. P., Renteria, M. E., Stein, J. L., Thompson, P. M., Francks, C., Vernes, S. C., & Fisher, S. E. (2016). Early developmental gene enhancers affect subcortical volumes in the adult human brain. Human Brain Mapping, 37(5), 1788-1800. doi:10.1002/hbm.23136.

    Abstract

    Genome-wide association screens aim to identify common genetic variants contributing to the phenotypic variability of complex traits, such as human height or brain morphology. The identified genetic variants are mostly within noncoding genomic regions and the biology of the genotype–phenotype association typically remains unclear. In this article, we propose a complementary targeted strategy to reveal the genetic underpinnings of variability in subcortical brain volumes, by specifically selecting genomic loci that are experimentally validated forebrain enhancers, active in early embryonic development. We hypothesized that genetic variation within these enhancers may affect the development and ultimately the structure of subcortical brain regions in adults. We tested whether variants in forebrain enhancer regions showed an overall enrichment of association with volumetric variation in subcortical structures of >13,000 healthy adults. We observed significant enrichment of genomic loci that affect the volume of the hippocampus within forebrain enhancers (empirical P = 0.0015), a finding which robustly passed the adjusted threshold for testing of multiple brain phenotypes (cutoff of P < 0.0083 at an alpha of 0.05). In analyses of individual single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), we identified an association upstream of the ID2 gene with rs7588305 and variation in hippocampal volume. This SNP-based association survived multiple-testing correction for the number of SNPs analyzed but not for the number of subcortical structures. Targeting known regulatory regions offers a way to understand the underlying biology that connects genotypes to phenotypes, particularly in the context of neuroimaging genetics. This biology-driven approach generates testable hypotheses regarding the functional biology of identified associations.
  • Carrion Castillo, A., van Bergen, E., Vino, A., van Zuijen, T., de Jong, P. F., Francks, C., & Fisher, S. E. (2016). Evaluation of results from genome-wide studies of language and reading in a novel independent dataset. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 15(6), 531-541. doi:10.1111/gbb.12299.

    Abstract

    Recent genome wide association scans (GWAS) for reading and language abilities have pin-pointed promising new candidate loci. However, the potential contributions of these loci remain to be validated. In the present study, we tested 17 of the most significantly associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from these GWAS studies (p < 10−6 in the original studies) in a new independent population dataset from the Netherlands: known as FIOLA (Familial Influences On Literacy Abilities). This dataset comprised 483 children from 307 nuclear families, plus 505 adults (including parents of participating children), and provided adequate statistical power to detect the effects that were previously reported. The following measures of reading and language performance were collected: word reading fluency, nonword reading fluency, phonological awareness, and rapid automatized naming. Two SNPs (rs12636438, rs7187223) were associated with performance in multivariate and univariate testing, but these did not remain significant after correction for multiple testing. Another SNP (rs482700) was only nominally associated in the multivariate test. For the rest of the SNPs we did not find supportive evidence of association. The findings may reflect differences between our study and the previous investigations in respects such as the language of testing, the exact tests used, and the recruitment criteria. Alternatively, most of the prior reported associations may have been false positives. A larger scale GWAS meta-analysis than those previously performed will likely be required to obtain robust insights into the genomic architecture underlying reading and language.
  • Franke, B., Stein, J. L., Ripke, S., Anttila, V., Hibar, D. P., Van Hulzen, K. J. E., Arias-Vasquez, A., Smoller, J. W., Nichols, T. E., Neale, M. C., McIntosh, A. M., Lee, P., McMahon, F. J., Meyer-Lindenberg, A., Mattheisen, M., Andreassen, O. A., Gruber, O., Sachdev, P. S., Roiz-Santiañez, R., Saykin, A. J. and 17 moreFranke, B., Stein, J. L., Ripke, S., Anttila, V., Hibar, D. P., Van Hulzen, K. J. E., Arias-Vasquez, A., Smoller, J. W., Nichols, T. E., Neale, M. C., McIntosh, A. M., Lee, P., McMahon, F. J., Meyer-Lindenberg, A., Mattheisen, M., Andreassen, O. A., Gruber, O., Sachdev, P. S., Roiz-Santiañez, R., Saykin, A. J., Ehrlich, S., Mather, K. A., Turner, J. A., Schwarz, E., Thalamuthu, A., Yao, Y., Ho, Y. Y. W., Martin, N. G., Wright, M. J., Guadalupe, T., Fisher, S. E., Francks, C., Schizophrenia Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, ENIGMA Consortium, O’Donovan, M. C., Thompson, P. M., Neale, B. M., Medland, S. E., & Sullivan, P. F. (2016). Genetic influences on schizophrenia and subcortical brain volumes: large-scale proof of concept. Nature Neuroscience, 19, 420-431. doi:10.1038/nn.4228.

    Abstract

    Schizophrenia is a devastating psychiatric illness with high heritability. Brain structure and function differ, on average, between people with schizophrenia and healthy individuals. As common genetic associations are emerging for both schizophrenia and brain imaging phenotypes, we can now use genome-wide data to investigate genetic overlap. Here we integrated results from common variant studies of schizophrenia (33,636 cases, 43,008 controls) and volumes of several (mainly subcortical) brain structures (11,840 subjects). We did not find evidence of genetic overlap between schizophrenia risk and subcortical volume measures either at the level of common variant genetic architecture or for single genetic markers. These results provide a proof of concept (albeit based on a limited set of structural brain measures) and define a roadmap for future studies investigating the genetic covariance between structural or functional brain phenotypes and risk for psychiatric disorders

    Additional information

    Franke_etal_2016_supp1.pdf
  • Gialluisi, A., Visconti, A., Wilcutt, E. G., Smith, S., Pennington, B., Falchi, M., DeFries, J., Olson, R., Francks, C., & Fisher, S. E. (2016). Investigating the effects of copy number variants on reading and language performance. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 8: 17. doi:10.1186/s11689-016-9147-8.

    Abstract

    Background Reading and language skills have overlapping genetic bases, most of which are still unknown. Part of the missing heritability may be caused by copy number variants (CNVs). Methods In a dataset of children recruited for a history of reading disability (RD, also known as dyslexia) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and their siblings, we investigated the effects of CNVs on reading and language performance. First, we called CNVs with PennCNV using signal intensity data from Illumina OmniExpress arrays (~723,000 probes). Then, we computed the correlation between measures of CNV genomic burden and the first principal component (PC) score derived from several continuous reading and language traits, both before and after adjustment for performance IQ. Finally, we screened the genome, probe-by-probe, for association with the PC scores, through two complementary analyses: we tested a binary CNV state assigned for the location of each probe (i.e., CNV+ or CNV−), and we analyzed continuous probe intensity data using FamCNV. Results No significant correlation was found between measures of CNV burden and PC scores, and no genome-wide significant associations were detected in probe-by-probe screening. Nominally significant associations were detected (p~10−2–10−3) within CNTN4 (contactin 4) and CTNNA3 (catenin alpha 3). These genes encode cell adhesion molecules with a likely role in neuronal development, and they have been previously implicated in autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. A further, targeted assessment of candidate CNV regions revealed associations with the PC score (p~0.026–0.045) within CHRNA7 (cholinergic nicotinic receptor alpha 7), which encodes a ligand-gated ion channel and has also been implicated in neurodevelopmental conditions and language impairment. FamCNV analysis detected a region of association (p~10−2–10−4) within a frequent deletion ~6 kb downstream of ZNF737 (zinc finger protein 737, uncharacterized protein), which was also observed in the association analysis using CNV calls. Conclusions These data suggest that CNVs do not underlie a substantial proportion of variance in reading and language skills. Analysis of additional, larger datasets is warranted to further assess the potential effects that we found and to increase the power to detect CNV effects on reading and language.
  • Kavaklioglu, T., Ajmal, M., Hameed, A., & Francks, C. (2016). Whole exome sequencing for handedness in a large and highly consanguineous family. Neuropsychologia, 93, part B, 342-349. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2015.11.010.

    Abstract

    Pinpointing genes involved in non-right-handedness has the potential to clarify developmental contributions to human brain lateralization. Major-gene models have been considered for human handedness which allow for phenocopy and reduced penetrance, i.e. an imperfect correspondence between genotype and phenotype. However, a recent genome-wide association scan did not detect any common polymorphisms with substantial genetic effects. Previous linkage studies in families have also not yielded significant findings. Genetic heterogeneity and/or polygenicity are therefore indicated, but it remains possible that relatively rare, or even unique, major-genetic effects may be detectable in certain extended families with many non-right-handed members. Here we applied whole exome sequencing to 17 members from a single, large consanguineous family from Pakistan. Multipoint linkage analysis across all autosomes did not yield clear candidate genomic regions for involvement in the trait and single-point analysis of exomic variation did not yield clear candidate mutations/genes. Any genetic contribution to handedness in this unusual family is therefore likely to have a complex etiology, as at the population level.
  • Brucato, N., Guadalupe, T., Franke, B., Fisher, S. E., & Francks, C. (2015). A schizophrenia-associated HLA locus affects thalamus volume and asymmetry. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 46, 311-318. doi:10.1016/j.bbi.2015.02.021.

    Abstract

    Genes of the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) have recently been shown to have neuronal functions in the thalamus and hippocampus. Common genetic variants in the Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA) region, human homologue of the MHC locus, are associated with small effects on susceptibility to schizophrenia, while volumetric changes of the thalamus and hippocampus have also been linked to schizophrenia. We therefore investigated whether common variants of the HLA would affect volumetric variation of the thalamus and hippocampus. We analyzed thalamus and hippocampus volumes, as measured using structural magnetic resonance imaging, in 1.265 healthy participants. These participants had also been genotyped using genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays. We imputed genotypes for single nucleotide polymorphisms at high density across the HLA locus, as well as HLA allotypes and HLA amino acids, by use of a reference population dataset that was specifically targeted to the HLA region. We detected a significant association of the SNP rs17194174 with thalamus volume (nominal P=0.0000017, corrected P=0.0039), as well as additional SNPs within the same region of linkage disequilibrium. This effect was largely lateralized to the left thalamus and is localized within a genomic region previously associated with schizophrenia. The associated SNPs are also clustered within a potential regulatory element, and a region of linkage disequilibrium that spans genes expressed in the thalamus, including HLA-A. Our data indicate that genetic variation within the HLA region influences the volume and asymmetry of the human thalamus. The molecular mechanisms underlying this association may relate to HLA influences on susceptibility to schizophrenia
  • Ceroni, F., Simpson, N. H., Francks, C., Baird, G., Conti-Ramsden, G., Clark, A., Bolton, P. F., Hennessy, E. R., Donnelly, P., Bentley, D. R., Martin, H., IMGSAC, SLI Consortium, WGS500 Consortium, Parr, J., Pagnamenta, A. T., Maestrini, E., Bacchelli, E., Fisher, S. E., & Newbury, D. F. (2015). Reply to Pembrey et al: ‘ZNF277 microdeletions, specific language impairment and the meiotic mismatch methylation (3M) hypothesis’. European Journal of Human Genetics, 23, 1113-1115. doi:10.1038/ejhg.2014.275.
  • Francks, C. (2015). Exploring human brain lateralization with molecular genetics and genomics. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1359, 1-13. doi:10.1111/nyas.12770.

    Abstract

    Lateralizations of brain structure and motor behavior have been observed in humans as early as the first trimester of gestation, and are likely to arise from asymmetrical genetic–developmental programs, as in other animals. Studies of gene expression levels in postmortem tissue samples, comparing the left and right sides of the human cerebral cortex, have generally not revealed striking transcriptional differences between the hemispheres. This is likely due to lateralization of gene expression being subtle and quantitative. However, a recent re-analysis and meta-analysis of gene expression data from the adult superior temporal and auditory cortex found lateralization of transcription of genes involved in synaptic transmission and neuronal electrophysiology. Meanwhile, human subcortical mid- and hindbrain structures have not been well studied in relation to lateralization of gene activity, despite being potentially important developmental origins of asymmetry. Genetic polymorphisms with small effects on adult brain and behavioral asymmetries are beginning to be identified through studies of large datasets, but the core genetic mechanisms of lateralized human brain development remain unknown. Identifying subtly lateralized genetic networks in the brain will lead to a new understanding of how neuronal circuits on the left and right are differently fine-tuned to preferentially support particular cognitive and behavioral functions.
  • Guadalupe, T., Zwiers, M. P., Wittfeld, K., Teumer, A., Vasquez, A. A., Hoogman, M., Hagoort, P., Fernandez, G., Buitelaar, J., van Bokhoven, H., Hegenscheid, K., Völzke, H., Franke, B., Fisher, S. E., Grabe, H. J., & Francks, C. (2015). Asymmetry within and around the human planum temporale is sexually dimorphic and influenced by genes involved in steroid hormone receptor activity. Cortex, 62, 41-55. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2014.07.015.

    Abstract

    The genetic determinants of cerebral asymmetries are unknown. Sex differences in asymmetry of the planum temporale, that overlaps Wernicke’s classical language area, have been inconsistently reported. Meta-analysis of previous studies has suggested that publication bias established this sex difference in the literature. Using probabilistic definitions of cortical regions we screened over the cerebral cortex for sexual dimorphisms of asymmetry in 2337 healthy subjects, and found the planum temporale to show the strongest sex-linked asymmetry of all regions, which was supported by two further datasets, and also by analysis with the Freesurfer package that performs automated parcellation of cerebral cortical regions. We performed a genome-wide association scan meta-analysis of planum temporale asymmetry in a pooled sample of 3095 subjects, followed by a candidate-driven approach which measured a significant enrichment of association in genes of the ´steroid hormone receptor activity´ and 'steroid metabolic process' pathways. Variants in the genes and pathways identified may affect the role of the planum temporale in language cognition.
  • Hibar, D. P., Stein, J. L., Renteria, M. E., Arias-Vasquez, A., Desrivières, S., Jahanshad, N., Toro, R., Wittfeld, K., Abramovic, L., Andersson, M., Aribisala, B. S., Armstrong, N. J., Bernard, M., Bohlken, M. M., Boks, M. P., Bralten, J., Brown, A. A., Chakravarty, M. M., Chen, Q., Ching, C. R. K. and 267 moreHibar, D. P., Stein, J. L., Renteria, M. E., Arias-Vasquez, A., Desrivières, S., Jahanshad, N., Toro, R., Wittfeld, K., Abramovic, L., Andersson, M., Aribisala, B. S., Armstrong, N. J., Bernard, M., Bohlken, M. M., Boks, M. P., Bralten, J., Brown, A. A., Chakravarty, M. M., Chen, Q., Ching, C. R. K., Cuellar-Partida, G., den Braber, A., Giddaluru, S., Goldman, A. L., Grimm, O., Guadalupe, T., Hass, J., Woldehawariat, G., Holmes, A. J., Hoogman, M., Janowitz, D., Jia, T., Kim, S., Klein, M., Kraemer, B., Lee, P. H., Olde Loohuis, L. M., Luciano, M., Macare, C., Mather, K. A., Mattheisen, M., Milaneschi, Y., Nho, K., Papmeyer, M., Ramasamy, A., Risacher, S. L., Roiz-Santiañez, R., Rose, E. J., Salami, A., Sämann, P. G., Schmaal, L., Schork, A. J., Shin, J., Strike, L. T., Teumer, A., Van Donkelaar, M. M. J., Van Eijk, K. R., Walters, R. K., Westlye, L. T., Whelan, C. D., Winkler, A. M., Zwiers, M. P., Alhusaini, S., Athanasiu, L., Ehrlich, S., Hakobjan, M. M. H., Hartberg, C. B., Haukvik, U. K., Heister, A. J. G. A. M., Hoehn, D., Kasperaviciute, D., Liewald, D. C. M., Lopez, L. M., Makkinje, R. R. R., Matarin, M., Naber, M. A. M., McKay, D. R., Needham, M., Nugent, A. C., Pütz, B., Royle, N. A., Shen, L., Sprooten, E., Trabzuni, D., Van der Marel, S. S. L., Van Hulzen, K. J. E., Walton, E., Wolf, C., Almasy, L., Ames, D., Arepalli, S., Assareh, A. A., Bastin, M. E., Brodaty, H., Bulayeva, K. B., Carless, M. A., Cichon, S., Corvin, A., Curran, J. E., Czisch, M., De Zubicaray, G. I., Dillman, A., Duggirala, R., Dyer, T. D., Erk, S., Fedko, I. O., Ferrucci, L., Foroud, T. M., Fox, P. T., Fukunaga, M., Gibbs, J. R., Göring, H. H. H., Green, R. C., Guelfi, S., Hansell, N. K., Hartman, C. A., Hegenscheid, K., Heinz, A., Hernandez, D. G., Heslenfeld, D. J., Hoekstra, P. J., Holsboer, F., Homuth, G., Hottenga, J.-J., Ikeda, M., Jack, C. R., Jenkinson, M., Johnson, R., Kanai, R., Keil, M., Kent, J. W., Kochunov, P., Kwok, J. B., Lawrie, S. M., Liu, X., Longo, D. L., McMahon, K. L., Meisenzahl, E., Melle, I., Mohnke, S., Montgomery, G. W., Mostert, J. C., Mühleisen, T. W., Nalls, M. A., Nichols, T. E., Nilsson, L. G., Nöthen, M. M., Ohi, K., Olvera, R. L., Perez-Iglesias, R., Pike, G. B., Potkin, S. G., Reinvang, I., Reppermund, S., Rietschel, M., Romanczuk-Seiferth, N., Rosen, G. D., Rujescu, D., Schnell, K., Schofield, P. R., Smith, C., Steen, V. M., Sussmann, J. E., Thalamuthu, A., Toga, A. W., Traynor, B. J., Troncoso, J., Turner, J. A., Valdes Hernández, M. C., van Ent, D. ’., Van der Brug, M., Van der Wee, N. J. A., Van Tol, M.-J., Veltman, D. J., Wassink, T. H., Westman, E., Zielke, R. H., Zonderman, A. B., Ashbrook, D. G., Hager, R., Lu, L., McMahon, F. J., Morris, D. W., Williams, R. W., Brunner, H. G., Buckner, R. L., Buitelaar, J. K., Cahn, W., Calhoun, V. D., Cavalleri, G. L., Crespo-Facorro, B., Dale, A. M., Davies, G. E., Delanty, N., Depondt, C., Djurovic, S., Drevets, W. C., Espeseth, T., Gollub, R. L., Ho, B.-C., Hoffmann, W., Hosten, N., Kahn, R. S., Le Hellard, S., Meyer-Lindenberg, A., Müller-Myhsok, B., Nauck, M., Nyberg, L., Pandolfo, M., Penninx, B. W. J. H., Roffman, J. L., Sisodiya, S. M., Smoller, J. W., Van Bokhoven, H., Van Haren, N. E. M., Völzke, H., Walter, H., Weiner, M. W., Wen, W., White, T., Agartz, I., Andreassen, O. A., Blangero, J., Boomsma, D. I., Brouwer, R. M., Cannon, D. M., Cookson, M. R., De Geus, E. J. C., Deary, I. J., Donohoe, G., Fernández, G., Fisher, S. E., Francks, C., Glahn, D. C., Grabe, H. J., Gruber, O., Hardy, J., Hashimoto, R., Hulshoff Pol, H. E., Jönsson, E. G., Kloszewska, I., Lovestone, S., Mattay, V. S., Mecocci, P., McDonald, C., McIntosh, A. M., Ophoff, R. A., Paus, T., Pausova, Z., Ryten, M., Sachdev, P. S., Saykin, A. J., Simmons, A., Singleton, A., Soininen, H., Wardlaw, J. M., Weale, M. E., Weinberger, D. R., Adams, H. H. H., Launer, L. J., Seiler, S., Schmidt, R., Chauhan, G., Satizabal, C. L., Becker, J. T., Yanek, L., van der Lee, S. J., Ebling, M., Fischl, B., Longstreth, W. T., Greve, D., Schmidt, H., Nyquist, P., Vinke, L. N., Van Duijn, C. M., Xue, L., Mazoyer, B., Bis, J. C., Gudnason, V., Seshadri, S., Ikram, M. A., The Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, The CHARGE Consortium, EPIGEN, IMAGEN, SYS, Martin, N. G., Wright, M. J., Schumann, G., Franke, B., Thompson, P. M., & Medland, S. E. (2015). Common genetic variants influence human subcortical brain structures. Nature, 520, 224-229. doi:10.1038/nature14101.

    Abstract

    The highly complex structure of the human brain is strongly shaped by genetic influences. Subcortical brain regions form circuits with cortical areas to coordinate movement, learning, memory and motivation, and altered circuits can lead to abnormal behaviour and disease. To investigate how common genetic variants affect the structure of these brain regions, here we conduct genome-wide association studies of the volumes of seven subcortical regions and the intracranial volume derived from magnetic resonance images of 30,717 individuals from 50 cohorts. We identify five novel genetic variants influencing the volumes of the putamen and caudate nucleus. We also find stronger evidence for three loci with previously established influences on hippocampal volume and intracranial volume. These variants show specific volumetric effects on brain structures rather than global effects across structures. The strongest effects were found for the putamen, where a novel intergenic locus with replicable influence on volume (rs945270; P = 1.08 × 10-33; 0.52% variance explained) showed evidence of altering the expression of the KTN1 gene in both brain and blood tissue. Variants influencing putamen volume clustered near developmental genes that regulate apoptosis, axon guidance and vesicle transport. Identification of these genetic variants provides insight into the causes of variability in human brain development, and may help to determine mechanisms of neuropsychiatric dysfunction

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  • Karlebach, G., & Francks, C. (2015). Lateralization of gene expression in human language cortex. Cortex, 67, 30-36. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2015.03.003.

    Abstract

    Lateralization is an important aspect of the functional brain architecture for language and other cognitive faculties. The molecular genetic basis of human brain lateralization is unknown, and recent studies have suggested that gene expression in the cerebral cortex is bilaterally symmetrical. Here we have re-analyzed two transcriptomic datasets derived from post mortem human cerebral cortex, with a specific focus on superior temporal and auditory language cortex in adults. We applied an empirical Bayes approach to model differential left-right expression, together with gene ontology analysis and meta-analysis. There was robust and reproducible lateralization of individual genes and gene ontology groups that are likely to fine-tune the electrophysiological and neurotransmission properties of cortical circuits, most notably synaptic transmission, nervous system development and glutamate receptor activity. Our findings anchor the cerebral biology of language to the molecular genetic level. Future research in model systems may determine how these molecular signatures of neurophysiological lateralization effect fine-tuning of cerebral cortical function, differently in the two hemispheres.
  • Villanueva, P., Nudel, R., Hoischen, A., Fernández, M. A., Simpson, N. H., Gilissen, C., Reader, R. H., Jara, L., Echeverry, M., Francks, C., Baird, G., Conti-Ramsden, G., O’Hare, A., Bolton, P., Hennessy, E. R., the SLI Consortium, Palomino, H., Carvajal-Carmona Veltman J.A., L., Veltman, J. A., Cazier, J.-B. and 3 moreVillanueva, P., Nudel, R., Hoischen, A., Fernández, M. A., Simpson, N. H., Gilissen, C., Reader, R. H., Jara, L., Echeverry, M., Francks, C., Baird, G., Conti-Ramsden, G., O’Hare, A., Bolton, P., Hennessy, E. R., the SLI Consortium, Palomino, H., Carvajal-Carmona Veltman J.A., L., Veltman, J. A., Cazier, J.-B., De Barbieri, Z., Fisher, S. E., & Newbury, D. (2015). Exome sequencing in an admixed isolated population indicates NFXL1 variants confer a risk for Specific Language Impairment. PLoS Genetics, 11(3): e1004925. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004925.
  • Brucato, N., DeLisi, L. E., Fisher, S. E., & Francks, C. (2014). Hypomethylation of the paternally inherited LRRTM1 promoter linked to schizophrenia. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 165(7), 555-563. doi:10.1002/ajmg.b.32258.

    Abstract

    Epigenetic effects on psychiatric traits remain relatively under-studied, and it remains unclear what the sizes of individual epigenetic effects may be, or how they vary between different clinical populations. The gene LRRTM1 (chromosome 2p12) has previously been linked and associated with schizophrenia in a parent-of-origin manner in a set of affected siblings (LOD = 4.72), indirectly suggesting a disruption of paternal imprinting at this locus in these families. From the same set of siblings that originally showed strong linkage at this locus, we analyzed 99 individuals using 454-bisulfite sequencing, from whole blood DNA, to measure the level of DNA methylation in the promoter region of LRRTM1. We also assessed seven additional loci that would be informative to compare. Paternal identity-by-descent sharing at LRRTM1, within sibling pairs, was linked to their similarity of methylation at the gene's promoter. Reduced methylation at the promoter showed a significant association with schizophrenia. Sibling pairs concordant for schizophrenia showed more similar methylation levels at the LRRTM1 promoter than diagnostically discordant pairs. The alleles of common SNPs spanning the locus did not explain this epigenetic linkage, which can therefore be considered as largely independent of DNA sequence variation and would not be detected in standard genetic association analysis. Our data suggest that hypomethylation at the LRRTM1 promoter, particularly of the paternally inherited allele, was a risk factor for the development of schizophrenia in this set of siblings affected with familial schizophrenia, and that had previously showed linkage at this locus in an affected-sib-pair context.
  • Cai, D., Fonteijn, H. M., Guadalupe, T., Zwiers, M., Wittfeld, K., Teumer, A., Hoogman, M., Arias Vásquez, A., Yang, Y., Buitelaar, J., Fernández, G., Brunner, H. G., Van Bokhoven, H., Franke, B., Hegenscheid, K., Homuth, G., Fisher, S. E., Grabe, H. J., Francks, C., & Hagoort, P. (2014). A genome wide search for quantitative trait loci affecting the cortical surface area and thickness of Heschl's gyrus. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 13, 675-685. doi:10.1111/gbb.12157.

    Abstract

    Heschl's gyrus (HG) is a core region of the auditory cortex whose morphology is highly variable across individuals. This variability has been linked to sound perception ability in both speech and music domains. Previous studies show that variations in morphological features of HG, such as cortical surface area and thickness, are heritable. To identify genetic variants that affect HG morphology, we conducted a genome-wide association scan (GWAS) meta-analysis in 3054 healthy individuals using HG surface area and thickness as quantitative traits. None of the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) showed association P values that would survive correction for multiple testing over the genome. The most significant association was found between right HG area and SNP rs72932726 close to gene DCBLD2 (3q12.1; P=2.77x10(-7)). This SNP was also associated with other regions involved in speech processing. The SNP rs333332 within gene KALRN (3q21.2; P=2.27x10(-6)) and rs143000161 near gene COBLL1 (2q24.3; P=2.40x10(-6)) were associated with the area and thickness of left HG, respectively. Both genes are involved in the development of the nervous system. The SNP rs7062395 close to the X-linked deafness gene POU3F4 was associated with right HG thickness (Xq21.1; P=2.38x10(-6)). This is the first molecular genetic analysis of variability in HG morphology
  • Ceroni, F., Simpson, N. H., Francks, C., Baird, G., Conti-Ramsden, G., Clark, A., Bolton, P. F., Hennessy, E. R., Donnelly, P., Bentley, D. R., Martin, H., IMGSAC, SLI Consortium, WGS500 Consortium, Parr, J., Pagnamenta, A. T., Maestrini, E., Bacchelli, E., Fisher, S. E., & Newbury, D. F. (2014). Homozygous microdeletion of exon 5 in ZNF277 in a girl with specific language impairment. European Journal of Human Genetics, 22, 1165-1171. doi:10.1038/ejhg.2014.4.

    Abstract

    Specific language impairment (SLI), an unexpected failure to develop appropriate language skills despite adequate non-verbal intelligence, is a heterogeneous multifactorial disorder with a complex genetic basis. We identified a homozygous microdeletion of 21,379 bp in the ZNF277 gene (NM_021994.2), encompassing exon 5, in an individual with severe receptive and expressive language impairment. The microdeletion was not found in the proband’s affected sister or her brother who had mild language impairment. However, it was inherited from both parents, each of whom carries a heterozygous microdeletion and has a history of language problems. The microdeletion falls within the AUTS1 locus, a region linked to autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs). Moreover, ZNF277 is adjacent to the DOCK4 and IMMP2L genes, which have been implicated in ASD. We screened for the presence of ZNF277 microdeletions in cohorts of children with SLI or ASD and panels of control subjects. ZNF277 microdeletions were at an increased allelic frequency in SLI probands (1.1%) compared with both ASD family members (0.3%) and independent controls (0.4%). We performed quantitative RT-PCR analyses of the expression of IMMP2L, DOCK4 and ZNF277 in individuals carrying either an IMMP2L_DOCK4 microdeletion or a ZNF277 microdeletion. Although ZNF277 microdeletions reduce the expression of ZNF277, they do not alter the levels of DOCK4 or IMMP2L transcripts. Conversely, IMMP2L_DOCK4 microdeletions do not affect the expression levels of ZNF277. We postulate that ZNF277 microdeletions may contribute to the risk of language impairments in a manner that is independent of the autism risk loci previously described in this region.
  • Gialluisi, A., Newbury, D. F., Wilcutt, E. G., Olson, R. K., DeFries, J. C., Brandler, W. M., Pennington, B. F., Smith, S. D., Scerri, T. S., Simpson, N. H., The SLI Consortium, Luciano, M., Evans, D. M., Bates, T. C., Stein, J. F., Talcott, J. B., Monaco, A. P., Paracchini, S., Francks, C., & Fisher, S. E. (2014). Genome-wide screening for DNA variants associated with reading and language traits. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 13, 686-701. doi:10.1111/gbb.12158.

    Abstract

    Reading and language abilities are heritable traits that are likely to share some genetic influences with each other. To identify pleiotropic genetic variants affecting these traits, we first performed a Genome-wide Association Scan (GWAS) meta-analysis using three richly characterised datasets comprising individuals with histories of reading or language problems, and their siblings. GWAS was performed in a total of 1862 participants using the first principal component computed from several quantitative measures of reading- and language-related abilities, both before and after adjustment for performance IQ. We identified novel suggestive associations at the SNPs rs59197085 and rs5995177 (uncorrected p≈10−7 for each SNP), located respectively at the CCDC136/FLNC and RBFOX2 genes. Each of these SNPs then showed evidence for effects across multiple reading and language traits in univariate association testing against the individual traits. FLNC encodes a structural protein involved in cytoskeleton remodelling, while RBFOX2 is an important regulator of alternative splicing in neurons. The CCDC136/FLNC locus showed association with a comparable reading/language measure in an independent sample of 6434 participants from the general population, although involving distinct alleles of the associated SNP. Our datasets will form an important part of on-going international efforts to identify genes contributing to reading and language skills.
  • Guadalupe, T., Willems, R. M., Zwiers, M., Arias Vasquez, A., Hoogman, M., Hagoort, P., Fernández, G., Buitelaar, J., Franke, B., Fisher, S. E., & Francks, C. (2014). Differences in cerebral cortical anatomy of left- and right-handers. Frontiers in Psychology, 5: 261. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00261.

    Abstract

    The left and right sides of the human brain are specialized for different kinds of information processing, and much of our cognition is lateralized to an extent towards one side or the other. Handedness is a reflection of nervous system lateralization. Roughly ten percent of people are mixed- or left-handed, and they show an elevated rate of reductions or reversals of some cerebral functional asymmetries compared to right-handers. Brain anatomical correlates of left-handedness have also been suggested. However, the relationships of left-handedness to brain structure and function remain far from clear. We carried out a comprehensive analysis of cortical surface area differences between 106 left-handed subjects and 1960 right-handed subjects, measured using an automated method of regional parcellation (FreeSurfer, Destrieux atlas). This is the largest study sample that has so far been used in relation to this issue. No individual cortical region showed an association with left-handedness that survived statistical correction for multiple testing, although there was a nominally significant association with the surface area of a previously implicated region: the left precentral sulcus. Identifying brain structural correlates of handedness may prove useful for genetic studies of cerebral asymmetries, as well as providing new avenues for the study of relations between handedness, cerebral lateralization and cognition.
  • Guadalupe, T., Zwiers, M. P., Teumer, A., Wittfeld, K., Arias Vasquez, A., Hoogman, M., Hagoort, P., Fernández, G., Buitelaar, J., Hegenscheid, K., Völzke, H., Franke, B., Fisher, S. E., Grabe, H. J., & Francks, C. (2014). Measurement and genetics of human subcortical and hippocampal asymmetries in large datasets. Human Brain Mapping, 35(7), 3277-3289. doi:10.1002/hbm.22401.

    Abstract

    Functional and anatomical asymmetries are prevalent features of the human brain, linked to gender, handedness, and cognition. However, little is known about the neurodevelopmental processes involved. In zebrafish, asymmetries arise in the diencephalon before extending within the central nervous system. We aimed to identify genes involved in the development of subtle, left-right volumetric asymmetries of human subcortical structures using large datasets. We first tested the feasibility of measuring left-right volume differences in such large-scale samples, as assessed by two automated methods of subcortical segmentation (FSL|FIRST and FreeSurfer), using data from 235 subjects who had undergone MRI twice. We tested the agreement between the first and second scan, and the agreement between the segmentation methods, for measures of bilateral volumes of six subcortical structures and the hippocampus, and their volumetric asymmetries. We also tested whether there were biases introduced by left-right differences in the regional atlases used by the methods, by analyzing left-right flipped images. While many bilateral volumes were measured well (scan-rescan r = 0.6-0.8), most asymmetries, with the exception of the caudate nucleus, showed lower repeatabilites. We meta-analyzed genome-wide association scan results for caudate nucleus asymmetry in a combined sample of 3,028 adult subjects but did not detect associations at genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10-8). There was no enrichment of genetic association in genes involved in left-right patterning of the viscera. Our results provide important information for researchers who are currently aiming to carry out large-scale genome-wide studies of subcortical and hippocampal volumes, and their asymmetries
  • Hoogman, M., Guadalupe, T., Zwiers, M. P., Klarenbeek, P., Francks, C., & Fisher, S. E. (2014). Assessing the effects of common variation in the FOXP2 gene on human brain structure. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8: 473. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00473.

    Abstract

    The FOXP2 transcription factor is one of the most well-known genes to have been implicated in developmental speech and language disorders. Rare mutations disrupting the function of this gene have been described in different families and cases. In a large three-generation family carrying a missense mutation, neuroimaging studies revealed significant effects on brain structure and function, most notably in the inferior frontal gyrus, caudate nucleus and cerebellum. After the identification of rare disruptive FOXP2 variants impacting on brain structure, several reports proposed that common variants at this locus may also have detectable effects on the brain, extending beyond disorder into normal phenotypic variation. These neuroimaging genetics studies used groups of between 14 and 96 participants. The current study assessed effects of common FOXP2 variants on neuroanatomy using voxel-based morphometry and volumetric techniques in a sample of >1300 people from the general population. In a first targeted stage we analyzed single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) claimed to have effects in prior smaller studies (rs2253478, rs12533005, rs2396753, rs6980093, rs7784315, rs17137124, rs10230558, rs7782412, rs1456031), beginning with regions proposed in the relevant papers, then assessing impact across the entire brain. In the second gene-wide stage, we tested all common FOXP2 variation, focusing on volumetry of those regions most strongly implicated from analyses of rare disruptive mutations. Despite using a sample that is more than ten times that used for prior studies of common FOXP2 variation, we found no evidence for effects of SNPs on variability in neuroanatomy in the general population. Thus, the impact of this gene on brain structure may be largely limited to extreme cases of rare disruptive alleles. Alternatively, effects of common variants at this gene exist but are too subtle to be detected with standard volumetric techniques
  • Nudel, R., Simpson, N. H., Baird, G., O’Hare, A., Conti-Ramsden, G., Bolton, P. F., Hennessy, E. R., The SLli consortium, Ring, S. M., Smith, G. D., Francks, C., Paracchini, S., Monaco, A. P., Fisher, S. E., & Newbury, D. F. (2014). Genome-wide association analyses of child genotype effects and parent-of origin effects in specific language impairment. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 13, 418-429. doi:10.1111/gbb.12127.

    Abstract

    Specific language impairment (SLI) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects linguistic abilities when development is otherwise normal. We report the results of a genomewide association study of SLI which included parent-of-origin effects and child genotype effects and used 278 families of language-impaired children. The child genotype effects analysis did not identify significant associations. We found genome-wide significant paternal parent-of-origin effects on chromosome 14q12 (P=3.74×10-8) and suggestive maternal parent-of-origin-effects on chromosome 5p13 (P=1.16×10-7). A subsequent targeted association of six single-nucleotide-polymorphisms (SNPs) on chromosome 5 in 313 language-impaired individuals from the ALSPAC cohort replicated the maternal effects, albeit in the opposite direction (P=0.001); as fathers’ genotypes were not available in the ALSPAC study, the replication analysis did not include paternal parent-of-origin effects. The paternally-associated SNP on chromosome 14 yields a non-synonymous coding change within the NOP9 gene. This gene encodes an RNA-binding protein that has been reported to be significantly dysregulated in individuals with schizophrenia. The region of maternal association on chromosome 5 falls between the PTGER4 and DAB2 genes, in a region previously implicated in autism and ADHD. The top SNP in this association locus is a potential expression QTL of ARHGEF19 (also called WGEF) on chromosome 1. Members of this protein family have been implicated in intellectual disability. In sum, this study implicates parent-of-origin effects in language impairment, and adds an interesting new dimension to the emerging picture of shared genetic etiology across various neurodevelopmental disorders.
  • Thompson, P. M., Stein, J. L., Medland, S. E., Hibar, D. P., Vasquez, A. A., Renteria, M. E., Toro, R., Jahanshad, N., Schumann, G., Franke, B., Wright, M. J., Martin, N. G., Agartz, I., Alda, M., Alhusaini, S., Almasy, L., Almeida, J., Alpert, K., Andreasen, N. C., Andreassen, O. A. and 269 moreThompson, P. M., Stein, J. L., Medland, S. E., Hibar, D. P., Vasquez, A. A., Renteria, M. E., Toro, R., Jahanshad, N., Schumann, G., Franke, B., Wright, M. J., Martin, N. G., Agartz, I., Alda, M., Alhusaini, S., Almasy, L., Almeida, J., Alpert, K., Andreasen, N. C., Andreassen, O. A., Apostolova, L. G., Appel, K., Armstrong, N. J., Aribisala, B., Bastin, M. E., Bauer, M., Bearden, C. E., Bergmann, Ø., Binder, E. B., Blangero, J., Bockholt, H. J., Bøen, E., Bois, C., Boomsma, D. I., Booth, T., Bowman, I. J., Bralten, J., Brouwer, R. M., Brunner, H. G., Brohawn, D. G., Buckner, R. L., Buitelaar, J., Bulayeva, K., Bustillo, J. R., Calhoun, V. D., Cannon, D. M., Cantor, R. M., Carless, M. A., Caseras, X., Cavalleri, G. L., Chakravarty, M. M., Chang, K. D., Ching, C. R. K., Christoforou, A., Cichon, S., Clark, V. P., Conrod, P., Coppola, G., Crespo-Facorro, B., Curran, J. E., Czisch, M., Deary, I. J., de Geus, E. J. C., den Braber, A., Delvecchio, G., Depondt, C., de Haan, L., de Zubicaray, G. I., Dima, D., Dimitrova, R., Djurovic, S., Dong, H., Donohoe, G., Duggirala, R., Dyer, T. D., Ehrlich, S., Ekman, C. J., Elvsåshagen, T., Emsell, L., Erk, S., Espeseth, T., Fagerness, J., Fears, S., Fedko, I., Fernández, G., Fisher, S. E., Foroud, T., Fox, P. T., Francks, C., Frangou, S., Frey, E. M., Frodl, T., Frouin, V., Garavan, H., Giddaluru, S., Glahn, D. C., Godlewska, B., Goldstein, R. Z., Gollub, R. L., Grabe, H. J., Grimm, O., Gruber, O., Guadalupe, T., Gur, R. E., Gur, R. C., Göring, H. H. H., Hagenaars, S., Hajek, T., Hall, G. B., Hall, J., Hardy, J., Hartman, C. A., Hass, J., Hatton, S. N., Haukvik, U. K., Hegenscheid, K., Heinz, A., Hickie, I. B., Ho, B.-C., Hoehn, D., Hoekstra, P. J., Hollinshead, M., Holmes, A. J., Homuth, G., Hoogman, M., Hong, L. E., Hosten, N., Hottenga, J.-J., Pol, H. E. H., Hwang, K. S., Jr, C. R. J., Jenkinson, M., Johnston, C., Jönsson, E. G., Kahn, R. S., Kasperaviciute, D., Kelly, S., Kim, S., Kochunov, P., Koenders, L., Krämer, B., Kwok, J. B. J., Lagopoulos, J., Laje, G., Landen, M., Landman, B. A., Lauriello, J., Lawrie, S. M., Lee, P. H., Le Hellard, S., Lemaître, H., Leonardo, C. D., Li, C.-s., Liberg, B., Liewald, D. C., Liu, X., Lopez, L. M., Loth, E., Lourdusamy, A., Luciano, M., Macciardi, F., Machielsen, M. W. J., MacQueen, G. M., Malt, U. F., Mandl, R., Manoach, D. S., Martinot, J.-L., Matarin, M., Mather, K. A., Mattheisen, M., Mattingsdal, M., Meyer-Lindenberg, A., McDonald, C., McIntosh, A. M., McMahon, F. J., McMahon, K. L., Meisenzahl, E., Melle, I., Milaneschi, Y., Mohnke, S., Montgomery, G. W., Morris, D. W., Moses, E. K., Mueller, B. A., Maniega, S. M., Mühleisen, T. W., Müller-Myhsok, B., Mwangi, B., Nauck, M., Nho, K., Nichols, T. E., Nilsson, L.-G., Nugent, A. C., Nyberg, L., Olvera, R. L., Oosterlaan, J., Ophoff, R. A., Pandolfo, M., Papalampropoulou-Tsiridou, M., Papmeyer, M., Paus, T., Pausova, Z., Pearlson, G. D., Penninx, B. W., Peterson, C. P., Pfennig, A., Phillips, M., Pike, G. B., Poline, J.-B., Potkin, S. G., Pütz, B., Ramasamy, A., Rasmussen, J., Rietschel, M., Rijpkema, M., Risacher, S. L., Roffman, J. L., Roiz-Santiañez, R., Romanczuk-Seiferth, N., Rose, E. J., Royle, N. A., Rujescu, D., Ryten, M., Sachdev, P. S., Salami, A., Satterthwaite, T. D., Savitz, J., Saykin, A. J., Scanlon, C., Schmaal, L., Schnack, H. G., Schork, A. J., Schulz, S. C., Schür, R., Seidman, L., Shen, L., Shoemaker, J. M., Simmons, A., Sisodiya, S. M., Smith, C., Smoller, J. W., Soares, J. C., Sponheim, S. R., Sprooten, E., Starr, J. M., Steen, V. M., Strakowski, S., Strike, L., Sussmann, J., Sämann, P. G., Teumer, A., Toga, A. W., Tordesillas-Gutierrez, D., Trabzuni, D., Trost, S., Turner, J., Van den Heuvel, M., van der Wee, N. J., van Eijk, K., van Erp, T. G. M., van Haren, N. E. M., van Ent, D. ‘., van Tol, M.-J., Hernández, M. C. V., Veltman, D. J., Versace, A., Völzke, H., Walker, R., Walter, H., Wang, L., Wardlaw, J. M., Weale, M. E., Weiner, M. W., Wen, W., Westlye, L. T., Whalley, H. C., Whelan, C. D., White, T., Winkler, A. M., Wittfeld, K., Woldehawariat, G., Wolf, C., Zilles, D., Zwiers, M. P., Thalamuthu, A., Schofield, P. R., Freimer, N. B., Lawrence, N. S., & Drevets, W. (2014). The ENIGMA Consortium: Large-scale collaborative analyses of neuroimaging and genetic data. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 8(2), 153-182. doi:10.1007/s11682-013-9269-5.

    Abstract

    The Enhancing NeuroImaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis (ENIGMA) Consortium is a collaborative network of researchers working together on a range of large-scale studies that integrate data from 70 institutions worldwide. Organized into Working Groups that tackle questions in neuroscience, genetics, and medicine, ENIGMA studies have analyzed neuroimaging data from over 12,826 subjects. In addition, data from 12,171 individuals were provided by the CHARGE consortium for replication of findings, in a total of 24,997 subjects. By meta-analyzing results from many sites, ENIGMA has detected factors that affect the brain that no individual site could detect on its own, and that require larger numbers of subjects than any individual neuroimaging study has currently collected. ENIGMA’s first project was a genome-wide association study identifying common variants in the genome associated with hippocampal volume or intracranial volume. Continuing work is exploring genetic associations with subcortical volumes (ENIGMA2) and white matter microstructure (ENIGMA-DTI). Working groups also focus on understanding how schizophrenia, bipolar illness, major depression and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affect the brain. We review the current progress of the ENIGMA Consortium, along with challenges and unexpected discoveries made on the way
  • Tosato, S., Zanoni, M., Bonetto, C., Tozzi, F., Francks, C., Ira, E., Tomassi, S., Bertani, M., Rujescu, D., Giegling, I., St Clair, D., Tansella, M., Ruggeri, M., & Muglia, P. (2014). No association between NRG1 and ErbB4 genes and psychopathological symptoms of Schizophrenia. Neuromolecular Medicine, 16, 742-751. doi:10.1007/s12017-014-8323-9.

    Abstract

    Neuregulin 1 (NRG1) and v-erb-a erythroblastic leukemia viral oncogene homolog 4 (ErbB4) have been extensively studied in schizophrenia susceptibility because of their pivotal role in key neurodevelopmental processes. One of the reasons for the inconsistencies in results could be the fact that the phenotype investigated has mostly the diagnosis of schizophrenia per se, which is widely heterogeneous, both clinically and biologically. In the present study we tested, in a large cohort of 461 schizophrenia patients recruited in Scotland, whether several SNPs in NRG1 and/or ErbB4 are associated with schizophrenia symptom dimensions as evaluated by the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). We then followed up nominally significant results in a second cohort of 439 schizophrenia subjects recruited in Germany. Using linear regression, we observed two different groups of polymorphisms in NRG1 gene: one showing a nominal association with higher scores of the PANSS positive dimension and the other one with higher scores of the PANSS negative dimension. Regarding ErbB4, a small cluster located in the 5' end of the gene was detected, showing nominal association mainly with negative, general and total dimensions of the PANSS. These findings suggest that some regions of NRG1 and ErbB4 are functionally involved in biological processes that underlie some of the phenotypic manifestations of schizophrenia. Because of the lack of significant association after correction for multiple testing, our analyses should be considered as exploratory and hypothesis generating for future studies.
  • Willems, R. M., Van der Haegen, L., Fisher, S. E., & Francks, C. (2014). On the other hand: Including left-handers in cognitive neuroscience and neurogenetics. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 15, 193-201. doi:10.1038/nrn3679.

    Abstract

    Left-handers are often excluded from study cohorts in neuroscience and neurogenetics in order to reduce variance in the data. However, recent investigations have shown that the inclusion or targeted recruitment of left-handers can be informative in studies on a range of topics, such as cerebral lateralization and the genetic underpinning of asymmetrical brain development. Left-handed individuals represent a substantial portion of the human population and therefore left-handedness falls within the normal range of human diversity; thus, it is important to account for this variation in our understanding of brain functioning. We call for neuroscientists and neurogeneticists to recognize the potential of studying this often-discarded group of research subjects.
  • Willems, R. M., & Francks, C. (2014). Your left-handed brain. Frontiers for Young Minds, 2: 13. doi:10.3389/frym.2014.00013.

    Abstract

    While most people prefer to use their right hand to brush their teeth, throw a ball, or hold a tennis racket, left-handers prefer to use their left hand. This is the case for around 10 per cent of all people. There was a time (not so long ago) when left-handers were stigmatized in Western (and other) communities: it was considered a bad sign if you were left-handed, and left-handed children were often forced to write with their right hand. This is nonsensical: there is nothing wrong with being left-handed, and trying to write with the non-preferred hand is frustrating for almost everybody. As a matter of fact, science can learn from left-handers, and in this paper, we discuss how this may be the case. We review why some people are left-handed and others are not, how left-handers' brains differ from right-handers’, and why scientists study left-handedness in the first place
  • Gialluisi, A., Dediu, D., Francks, C., & Fisher, S. E. (2013). Persistence and transmission of recessive deafness and sign language: New insights from village sign languages. European Journal of Human Genetics, 21, 894-896. doi:10.1038/ejhg.2012.292.

    Abstract

    First paragraph: The study of the transmission of sign languages can give novel insights into the transmission of spoken languages1 and, more generally, into gene–culture coevolution. Over the years, several papers related to the persistence of sign language have been reported.2–6 All of these studies have emphasized the role of assortative (non-random) mating by deafness state (ie, a tendency for deaf individuals to partner together) for increasing the frequency of recessive deafness, and hence for the persistence of sign language in a population.
  • Stephens, S., Hartz, S., Hoft, N., Saccone, N., Corley, R., Hewitt, J., Hopfer, C., Breslau, N., Coon, H., Chen, X., Ducci, F., Dueker, N., Franceschini, N., Frank, J., Han, Y., Hansel, N., Jiang, C., Korhonen, T., Lind, P., Liu, J. and 105 moreStephens, S., Hartz, S., Hoft, N., Saccone, N., Corley, R., Hewitt, J., Hopfer, C., Breslau, N., Coon, H., Chen, X., Ducci, F., Dueker, N., Franceschini, N., Frank, J., Han, Y., Hansel, N., Jiang, C., Korhonen, T., Lind, P., Liu, J., Michel, M., Lyytikäinen, L.-P., Shaffer, J., Short, S., Sun, J., Teumer, A., Thompson, J., Vogelzangs, N., Vink, J., Wenzlaff, A., Wheeler, W., Yang, B.-Z., Aggen, S., Balmforth, A., Baumesiter, S., Beaty, T., Benjamin, D., Bergen, A., Broms, U., Cesarini, D., Chatterjee, N., Chen, J., Cheng, Y.-C., Cichon, S., Couper, D., Cucca, F., Dick, D., Foround, T., Furberg, H., Giegling, I., Gillespie, N., Gu, F.,.Hall, A., Hällfors, J., Han, S., Hartmann, A., Heikkilä, K., Hickie, I., Hottenga, J., Jousilahti, P., Kaakinen, M., Kähönen, M., Koellinger, P., Kittner, S., Konte, B., Landi, M.-T., Laatikainen, T., Leppert, M., Levy, S., Mathias, R., McNeil, D., Medlund, S., Montgomery, G., Murray, T., Nauck, M., North, K., Paré, P., Pergadia, M., Ruczinski, I., Salomaa, V., Viikari, J., Willemsen, G., Barnes, K., Boerwinkle, E., Boomsma, D., Caporaso, N., Edenberg, H., Francks, C., Gelernter, J., Grabe, H., Hops, H., Jarvelin, M.-R., Johannesson, M., Kendler, K., Lehtimäki, T., Magnusson, P., Marazita, M., Marchini, J., Mitchell, B., Nöthen, M., Penninx, B., Raitakari, O., Rietschel, M., Rujescu, D., Samani, N., Schwartz, A., Shete, S., Spitz, M., Swan, G., Völzke, H., Veijola, J., Wei, Q., Amos, C., Canon, D., Grucza, R., Hatsukami, D., Heath, A., Johnson, E., Kaprio, J., Madden, P., Martin, N., Stevens, V., Weiss, R., Kraft, P., Bierut, L., & Ehringer, M. (2013). Distinct Loci in the CHRNA5/CHRNA3/CHRNB4 Gene Cluster are Associated with Onset of Regular Smoking. Genetic Epidemiology, 37, 846-859. doi:10.1002/gepi.21760.

    Abstract

    Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) genes (CHRNA5/CHRNA3/CHRNB4) have been reproducibly associated with nicotine dependence, smoking behaviors, and lung cancer risk. Of the few reports that have focused on early smoking behaviors, association results have been mixed. This meta-analysis examines early smoking phenotypes and SNPs in the gene cluster to determine: (1) whether the most robust association signal in this region (rs16969968) for other smoking behaviors is also associated with early behaviors, and/or (2) if additional statistically independent signals are important in early smoking. We focused on two phenotypes: age of tobacco initiation (AOI) and age of first regular tobacco use (AOS). This study included 56,034 subjects (41 groups) spanning nine countries and evaluated five SNPs including rs1948, rs16969968, rs578776, rs588765, and rs684513. Each dataset was analyzed using a centrally generated script. Meta-analyses were conducted from summary statistics. AOS yielded significant associations with SNPs rs578776 (beta = 0.02, P = 0.004), rs1948 (beta = 0.023, P = 0.018), and rs684513 (beta = 0.032, P = 0.017), indicating protective effects. There were no significant associations for the AOI phenotype. Importantly, rs16969968, the most replicated signal in this region for nicotine dependence, cigarettes per day, and cotinine levels, was not associated with AOI (P = 0.59) or AOS (P = 0.92). These results provide important insight into the complexity of smoking behavior phenotypes, and suggest that association signals in the CHRNA5/A3/B4 gene cluster affecting early smoking behaviors may be different from those affecting the mature nicotine dependence phenotype

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  • Hartz, S. M., Short, S. E., Saccone, N. L., Culverhouse, R., Chen, L., Schwantes-An, T.-H., Coon, H., Han, Y., Stephens, S. H., Sun, J., Chen, X., Ducci, F., Dueker, N., Franceschini, N., Frank, J., Geller, F., Gubjartsson, D., Hansel, N. N., Jiang, C., Keskitalo-Vuokko, K. and 132 moreHartz, S. M., Short, S. E., Saccone, N. L., Culverhouse, R., Chen, L., Schwantes-An, T.-H., Coon, H., Han, Y., Stephens, S. H., Sun, J., Chen, X., Ducci, F., Dueker, N., Franceschini, N., Frank, J., Geller, F., Gubjartsson, D., Hansel, N. N., Jiang, C., Keskitalo-Vuokko, K., Liu, Z., Lyytikainen, L.-P., Michel, M., Rawal, R., Rosenberger, A., Scheet, P., Shaffer, J. R., Teumer, A., Thompson, J. R., Vink, J. M., Vogelzangs, N., Wenzlaff, A. S., Wheeler, W., Xiao, X., Yang, B.-Z., Aggen, S. H., Balmforth, A. J., Baumeister, S. E., Beaty, T., Bennett, S., Bergen, A. W., Boyd, H. A., Broms, U., Campbell, H., Chatterjee, N., Chen, J., Cheng, Y.-C., Cichon, S., Couper, D., Cucca, F., Dick, D. M., Foroud, T., Furberg, H., Giegling, I., Gu, F., Hall, A. S., Hallfors, J., Han, S., Hartmann, A. M., Hayward, C., Heikkila, K., Hewitt, J. K., Hottenga, J. J., Jensen, M. K., Jousilahti, P., Kaakinen, M., Kittner, S. J., Konte, B., Korhonen, T., Landi, M.-T., Laatikainen, T., Leppert, M., Levy, S. M., Mathias, R. A., McNeil, D. W., Medland, S. E., Montgomery, G. W., Muley, T., Murray, T., Nauck, M., North, K., Pergadia, M., Polasek, O., Ramos, E. M., Ripatti, S., Risch, A., Ruczinski, I., Rudan, I., Salomaa, V., Schlessinger, D., Styrkarsdottir, U., Terracciano, A., Uda, M., Willemsen, G., Wu, X., Abecasis, G., Barnes, K., Bickeboller, H., Boerwinkle, E., Boomsma, D. I., Caporaso, N., Duan, J., Edenberg, H. J., Francks, C., Gejman, P. V., Gelernter, J., Grabe, H. J., Hops, H., Jarvelin, M.-R., Viikari, J., Kahonen, M., Kendler, K. S., Lehtimaki, T., Levinson, D. F., Marazita, M. L., Marchini, J., Melbye, M., Mitchell, B., Murray, J. C., Nothen, M. M., Penninx, B. W., Raitakari, O., Rietschel, M., Rujescu, D., Samani, N. J., Sanders, A. R., Schwartz, A. G., Shete, S., Shi, J., Spitz, M., Stefansson, K., Swan, G. E., Thorgeirsson, T., Volzke, H., Wei, Q., Wichmann, H.-E., Amos, C. I., Breslau, N., Cannon, D. S., Ehringer, M., Grucza, R., Hatsukami, D., Heath, A., Johnson, E. O., Kaprio, J., Madden, P., Martin, N. G., Stevens, V. L., Stitzel, J. A., Weiss, R. B., Kraft, P., & Bierut, L. J. (2012). Increased genetic vulnerability to smoking at CHRNA5 in early-onset smokers. Archives of General Psychiatry, 69, 854-860. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2012.124.

    Abstract

    CONTEXT Recent studies have shown an association between cigarettes per day (CPD) and a nonsynonymous single-nucleotide polymorphism in CHRNA5, rs16969968. OBJECTIVE To determine whether the association between rs16969968 and smoking is modified by age at onset of regular smoking. DATA SOURCES Primary data. STUDY SELECTION Available genetic studies containing measures of CPD and the genotype of rs16969968 or its proxy. DATA EXTRACTION Uniform statistical analysis scripts were run locally. Starting with 94 050 ever-smokers from 43 studies, we extracted the heavy smokers (CPD >20) and light smokers (CPD ≤10) with age-at-onset information, reducing the sample size to 33 348. Each study was stratified into early-onset smokers (age at onset ≤16 years) and late-onset smokers (age at onset >16 years), and a logistic regression of heavy vs light smoking with the rs16969968 genotype was computed for each stratum. Meta-analysis was performed within each age-at-onset stratum. DATA SYNTHESIS Individuals with 1 risk allele at rs16969968 who were early-onset smokers were significantly more likely to be heavy smokers in adulthood (odds ratio [OR] = 1.45; 95% CI, 1.36-1.55; n = 13 843) than were carriers of the risk allele who were late-onset smokers (OR = 1.27; 95% CI, 1.21-1.33, n = 19 505) (P = .01). CONCLUSION These results highlight an increased genetic vulnerability to smoking in early-onset smokers.

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  • Artigas, M. S., Loth, D. W., Wain, L. V., Gharib, S. A., Obeidat, M., Tang, W., Zhai, G., Zhao, J. H., Smith, A. V., Huffman, J. E., Albrecht, E., Jackson, C. M., Evans, D. M., Cadby, G., Fornage, M., Manichaikul, A., Lopez, L. M., Johnson, T., Aldrich, M. C., Aspelund, T. and 149 moreArtigas, M. S., Loth, D. W., Wain, L. V., Gharib, S. A., Obeidat, M., Tang, W., Zhai, G., Zhao, J. H., Smith, A. V., Huffman, J. E., Albrecht, E., Jackson, C. M., Evans, D. M., Cadby, G., Fornage, M., Manichaikul, A., Lopez, L. M., Johnson, T., Aldrich, M. C., Aspelund, T., Barroso, I., Campbell, H., Cassano, P. A., Couper, D. J., Eiriksdottir, G., Franceschini, N., Garcia, M., Gieger, C., Gislason, G. K., Grkovic, I., Hammond, C. J., Hancock, D. B., Harris, T. B., Ramasamy, A., Heckbert, S. R., Heliövaara, M., Homuth, G., Hysi, P. G., James, A. L., Jankovic, S., Joubert, B. R., Karrasch, S., Klopp, N., Koch, B., Kritchevsky, S. B., Launer, L. J., Liu, Y., Loehr, L. R., Lohman, K., Loos, R. J., Lumley, T., Al Balushi, K. A., Ang, W. Q., Barr, R. G., Beilby, J., Blakey, J. D., Boban, M., Boraska, V., Brisman, J., Britton, J. R., Brusselle, G., Cooper, C., Curjuric, I., Dahgam, S., Deary, I. J., Ebrahim, S., Eijgelsheim, M., Francks, C., Gaysina, D., Granell, R., Gu, X., Hankinson, J. L., Hardy, R., Harris, S. E., Henderson, J., Henry, A., Hingorani, A. D., Hofman, A., Holt, P. G., Hui, J., Hunter, M. L., Imboden, M., Jameson, K. A., Kerr, S. M., Kolcic, I., Kronenberg, F., Liu, J. Z., Marchini, J., McKeever, T., Morris, A. D., Olin, A. C., Porteous, D. J., Postma, D. S., Rich, S. S., Ring, S. M., Rivadeneira, F., Rochat, T., Sayer, A. A., Sayers, I., Sly, P. D., Smith, G. D., Sood, A., Starr, J. M., Uitterlinden, A. G., Vonk, J. M., Wannamethee, S. G., Whincup, P. H., Wijmenga, C., Williams, O. D., Wong, A., Mangino, M., Marciante, K. D., McArdle, W. L., Meibohm, B., Morrison, A. C., North, K. E., Omenaas, E., Palmer, L. J., Pietiläinen, K. H., Pin, I., Pola Sbreve Ek, O., Pouta, A., Psaty, B. M., Hartikainen, A. L., Rantanen, T., Ripatti, S., Rotter, J. I., Rudan, I., Rudnicka, A. R., Schulz, H., Shin, S. Y., Spector, T. D., Surakka, I., Vitart, V., Völzke, H., Wareham, N. J., Warrington, N. M., Wichmann, H. E., Wild, S. H., Wilk, J. B., Wjst, M., Wright, A. F., Zgaga, L., Zemunik, T., Pennell, C. E., Nyberg, F., Kuh, D., Holloway, J. W., Boezen, H. M., Lawlor, D. A., Morris, R. W., Probst-Hensch, N., The International Lung Cancer Consortium, Giant consortium, Kaprio, J., Wilson, J. F., Hayward, C., Kähönen, M., Heinrich, J., Musk, A. W., Jarvis, D. L., Gläser, S., Järvelin, M. R., Ch Stricker, B. H., Elliott, P., O'Connor, G. T., Strachan, D. P., London, S. J., Hall, I. P., Gudnason, V., & Tobin, M. D. (2011). Genome-wide association and large-scale follow up identifies 16 new loci influencing lung function. Nature Genetics, 43, 1082-1090. doi:10.1038/ng.941.

    Abstract

    Pulmonary function measures reflect respiratory health and are used in the diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. We tested genome-wide association with forced expiratory volume in 1 second and the ratio of forced expiratory volume in 1 second to forced vital capacity in 48,201 individuals of European ancestry with follow up of the top associations in up to an additional 46,411 individuals. We identified new regions showing association (combined P < 5 × 10(-8)) with pulmonary function in or near MFAP2, TGFB2, HDAC4, RARB, MECOM (also known as EVI1), SPATA9, ARMC2, NCR3, ZKSCAN3, CDC123, C10orf11, LRP1, CCDC38, MMP15, CFDP1 and KCNE2. Identification of these 16 new loci may provide insight into the molecular mechanisms regulating pulmonary function and into molecular targets for future therapy to alleviate reduced lung function.
  • Dow, D. J., Huxley-Jones, J., Hall, J. M., Francks, C., Maycox, P. R., Kew, J. N., Gloger, I. S., Mehta, N. A., Kelly, F. M., Muglia, P., Breen, G., Jugurnauth, S., Pederoso, I., St.Clair, D., Rujescu, D., & Barnes, M. R. (2011). ADAMTSL3 as a candidate gene for schizophrenia: Gene sequencing and ultra-high density association analysis by imputation. Schizophrenia Research, 127(1-3), 28-34. doi:10.1016/j.schres.2010.12.009.

    Abstract

    We previously reported an association with a putative functional variant in the ADAMTSL3 gene, just below genome-wide significance in a genome-wide association study of schizophrenia. As variants impacting the function of ADAMTSL3 (a disintegrin-like and metalloprotease domain with thrombospondin type I motifs-like-3) could illuminate a novel disease mechanism and a potentially specific target, we have used complementary approaches to further evaluate the association. We imputed genotypes and performed high density association analysis using data from the HapMap and 1000 genomes projects. To review all variants that could potentially cause the association, and to identify additional possible pathogenic rare variants, we sequenced ADAMTSL3 in 92 schizophrenics. A total of 71 ADAMTSL3 variants were identified by sequencing, many were also seen in the 1000 genomes data, but 26 were novel. None of the variants identified by re-sequencing was in strong linkage disequilibrium (LD) with the associated markers. Imputation analysis refined association between ADAMTSL3 and schizophrenia, and highlighted additional common variants with similar levels of association. We evaluated the functional consequences of all variants identified by sequencing, or showing direct or imputed association. The strongest evidence for function remained with the originally associated variant, rs950169, suggesting that this variant may be causal of the association. Rare variants were also identified with possible functional impact. Our study confirms ADAMTSL3 as a candidate for further investigation in schizophrenia, using the variants identified here. The utility of imputation analysis is demonstrated, and we recommend wider use of this method to re-evaluate the existing canon of suggestive schizophrenia associations.
  • Francks, C. (2011). Leucine-rich repeat genes and the fine-tuning of synapses. Biological Psychiatry, 69, 820-821. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2010.12.018.
  • Ingason, A., Rujescu, D., Cichon, S., Sigurdsson, E., Sigmundsson, T., Pietilainen, O. P. H., Buizer-Voskamp, J. E., Strengman, E., Francks, C., Muglia, P., Gylfason, A., Gustafsson, O., Olason, P. I., Steinberg, S., Hansen, T., Jakobsen, K. D., Rasmussen, H. B., Giegling, I., Möller, H.-J., Hartmann, A. and 28 moreIngason, A., Rujescu, D., Cichon, S., Sigurdsson, E., Sigmundsson, T., Pietilainen, O. P. H., Buizer-Voskamp, J. E., Strengman, E., Francks, C., Muglia, P., Gylfason, A., Gustafsson, O., Olason, P. I., Steinberg, S., Hansen, T., Jakobsen, K. D., Rasmussen, H. B., Giegling, I., Möller, H.-J., Hartmann, A., Crombie, C., Fraser, G., Walker, N., Lonnqvist, J., Suvisaari, J., Tuulio-Henriksson, A., Bramon, E., Kiemeney, L. A., Franke, B., Murray, R., Vassos, E., Toulopoulou, T., Mühleisen, T. W., Tosato, S., Ruggeri, M., Djurovic, S., Andreassen, O. A., Zhang, Z., Werge, T., Ophoff, R. A., Rietschel, M., Nöthen, M. M., Petursson, H., Stefansson, H., Peltonen, L., Collier, D., Stefansson, K., & St Clair, D. M. (2011). Copy number variations of chromosome 16p13.1 region associated with schizophrenia. Molecular Psychiatry, 16, 17-25. doi:10.1038/mp.2009.101.

    Abstract

    Deletions and reciprocal duplications of the chromosome 16p13.1 region have recently been reported in several cases of autism and mental retardation (MR). As genomic copy number variants found in these two disorders may also associate with schizophrenia, we examined 4345 schizophrenia patients and 35 079 controls from 8 European populations for duplications and deletions at the 16p13.1 locus, using microarray data. We found a threefold excess of duplications and deletions in schizophrenia cases compared with controls, with duplications present in 0.30% of cases versus 0.09% of controls (P=0.007) and deletions in 0.12 % of cases and 0.04% of controls (P>0.05). The region can be divided into three intervals defined by flanking low copy repeats. Duplications spanning intervals I and II showed the most significant (P=0.00010) association with schizophrenia. The age of onset in duplication and deletion carriers among cases ranged from 12 to 35 years, and the majority were males with a family history of psychiatric disorders. In a single Icelandic family, a duplication spanning intervals I and II was present in two cases of schizophrenia, and individual cases of alcoholism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and dyslexia. Candidate genes in the region include NTAN1 and NDE1. We conclude that duplications and perhaps also deletions of chromosome 16p13.1, previously reported to be associated with autism and MR, also confer risk of schizophrenia.
  • Francks, C., Tozzi, F., Farmer, A., Vincent, J. B., Rujescu, D., St Clair, D., & Muglia, P. (2010). Population-based linkage analysis of schizophrenia and bipolar case-control cohorts identifies a potential susceptibility locus on 19q13. Molecular Psychiatry, 15, 319-325. doi:10.1038/mp.2008.100.

    Abstract

    Population-based linkage analysis is a new method for analysing genomewide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotype data in case-control samples, which does not assume a common disease, common variant model. The genome is scanned for extended segments that show increased identity-by-descent sharing within case-case pairs, relative to case-control or control-control pairs. The method is robust to allelic heterogeneity and is suited to mapping genes which contain multiple, rare susceptibility variants of relatively high penetrance. We analysed genomewide SNP datasets for two schizophrenia case-control cohorts, collected in Aberdeen (461 cases, 459 controls) and Munich (429 cases, 428 controls). Population-based linkage testing must be performed within homogeneous samples and it was therefore necessary to analyse the cohorts separately. Each cohort was first subjected to several procedures to improve genetic homogeneity, including identity-by-state outlier detection and multidimensional scaling analysis. When testing only cases who reported a positive family history of major psychiatric disease, consistent with a model of strongly penetrant susceptibility alleles, we saw a distinct peak on chromosome 19q in both cohorts that appeared in meta-analysis (P=0.000016) to surpass the traditional level for genomewide significance for complex trait linkage. The linkage signal was also present in a third case-control sample for familial bipolar disorder, such that meta-analysing all three datasets together yielded a linkage P=0.0000026. A model of rare but highly penetrant disease alleles may be more applicable to some instances of major psychiatric diseases than the common disease common variant model, and we therefore suggest that other genome scan datasets are analysed with this new, complementary method.
  • Ingason, A., Giegling, I., Cichon, S., Hansen, T., Rasmussen, H. B., Nielsen, J., Jurgens, G., Muglia, P., Hartmann, A. M., Strengman, E., Vasilescu, C., Muhleisen, T. W., Djurovic, S., Melle, I., Lerer, B., Möller, H.-J., Francks, C., Pietilainen, O. P. H., Lonnqvist, J., Suvisaari, J. and 20 moreIngason, A., Giegling, I., Cichon, S., Hansen, T., Rasmussen, H. B., Nielsen, J., Jurgens, G., Muglia, P., Hartmann, A. M., Strengman, E., Vasilescu, C., Muhleisen, T. W., Djurovic, S., Melle, I., Lerer, B., Möller, H.-J., Francks, C., Pietilainen, O. P. H., Lonnqvist, J., Suvisaari, J., Tuulio-Henriksson, A., Walshe, M., Vassos, E., Di Forti, M., Murray, R., Bonetto, C., Tosato, S., Cantor, R. M., Rietschel, M., Craddock, N., Owen, M. J., Andreassen, O. A., Nothen, M. M., Peltonen, L., St. Clair, D., Ophoff, R. A., O’Donovan, M. C., Collier, D. A., Werge, T., & Rujescu, D. (2010). A large replication study and meta-analysis in European samples provides further support for association of AHI1 markers with schizophrenia. Human Molecular Genetics, 19(7), 1379-1386. doi:10.1093/hmg/ddq009.

    Abstract

    The Abelson helper integration site 1 (AHI1) gene locus on chromosome 6q23 is among a group of candidate loci for schizophrenia susceptibility that were initially identified by linkage followed by linkage disequilibrium mapping, and subsequent replication of the association in an independent sample. Here, we present results of a replication study of AHI1 locus markers, previously implicated in schizophrenia, in a large European sample (in total 3907 affected and 7429 controls). Furthermore, we perform a meta-analysis of the implicated markers in 4496 affected and 18,920 controls. Both the replication study of new samples and the meta-analysis show evidence for significant overrepresentation of all tested alleles in patients compared with controls (meta-analysis; P = 8.2 x 10(-5)-1.7 x 10(-3), common OR = 1.09-1.11). The region contains two genes, AHI1 and C6orf217, and both genes-as well as the neighbouring phosphodiesterase 7B (PDE7B)-may be considered candidates for involvement in the genetic aetiology of schizophrenia.
  • Liu, J. Z., Tozzi, F., Waterworth, D. M., Pillai, S. G., Muglia, P., Middleton, L., Berrettini, W., Knouff, C. W., Yuan, X., Waeber, G., Vollenweider, P., Preisig, M., Wareham, N. J., Zhao, J. H., Loos, R. J. F., Barroso, I., Khaw, K.-T., Grundy, S., Barter, P., Mahley, R. and 86 moreLiu, J. Z., Tozzi, F., Waterworth, D. M., Pillai, S. G., Muglia, P., Middleton, L., Berrettini, W., Knouff, C. W., Yuan, X., Waeber, G., Vollenweider, P., Preisig, M., Wareham, N. J., Zhao, J. H., Loos, R. J. F., Barroso, I., Khaw, K.-T., Grundy, S., Barter, P., Mahley, R., Kesaniemi, A., McPherson, R., Vincent, J. B., Strauss, J., Kennedy, J. L., Farmer, A., McGuffin, P., Day, R., Matthews, K., Bakke, P., Gulsvik, A., Lucae, S., Ising, M., Brueckl, T., Horstmann, S., Wichmann–, H.-E., Rawal, R., Dahmen, N., Lamina, C., Polasek, O., Zgaga, L., Huffman, J., Campbell, S., Kooner, J., Chambers, J. C., Burnett, M. S., Devaney, J. M., Pichard, A. D., Kent, K. M., Satler, L., Lindsay, J. M., Waksman, R., Epstein, S., Wilson, J. F., Wild, S. H., Campbell, H., Vitart, V., Reilly, M. P., Li, M., Qu, L., Wilensky, R., Matthai, W., Hakonarson, H. H., Rader, D. J., Franke, A., Wittig, M., Schäfer, A., Uda, M., Terracciano, A., Xiao, X., Busonero, F., Scheet, P., Schlessinger, D., St. Clair, D., Rujescu, D., Abecasis, G. R., Grabe, H. J., Teumer, A., Völzke, H., Petersmann, A., John, U., Rudan, I., Hayward, C., Wright, A. F., Kolcic, I., Wright, B. J., Thompson, J. R., Balmforth, A. J., Hall, A. S., Samani, N. J., Anderson, C. A., Ahmad, T., Mathew, C. G., Parkes, M., Satsangi, J., Caulfield, M., Munroe, P. B., Farrall, M., Dominiczak, A., Worthington, J., Thomson, W., Eyre, S., Barton, A., Mooser, V., Francks, C., & Marchini, J. (2010). Meta-analysis and imputation refines the association of 15q25 with smoking quantity. Nature Genetics, 42(5), 436-440. doi:10.1038/ng.572.

    Abstract

    Smoking is a leading global cause of disease and mortality. We established the Oxford-GlaxoSmithKline study (Ox-GSK) to perform a genome-wide meta-analysis of SNP association with smoking-related behavioral traits. Our final data set included 41,150 individuals drawn from 20 disease, population and control cohorts. Our analysis confirmed an effect on smoking quantity at a locus on 15q25 (P = 9.45 x 10(-19)) that includes CHRNA5, CHRNA3 and CHRNB4, three genes encoding neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits. We used data from the 1000 Genomes project to investigate the region using imputation, which allowed for analysis of virtually all common SNPs in the region and offered a fivefold increase in marker density over HapMap2 (ref. 2) as an imputation reference panel. Our fine-mapping approach identified a SNP showing the highest significance, rs55853698, located within the promoter region of CHRNA5. Conditional analysis also identified a secondary locus (rs6495308) in CHRNA3.
  • Muglia, P., Tozzi, F., Galwey, N. W., Francks, C., Upmanyu, R., Kong, X., Antoniades, A., Domenici, E., Perry, J., Rothen, S., Vandeleur, C. L., Mooser, V., Waeber, G., Vollenweider, P., Preisig, M., Lucae, S., Muller-Myhsok, B., Holsboer, F., Middleton, L. T., & Roses, A. D. (2010). Genome-wide association study of recurrent major depressive disorder in two European case-control cohorts. Molecular Psychiatry, 15(6), 589-601. doi:10.1038/mp.2008.131.

    Abstract

    Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a highly prevalent disorder with substantial heritability. Heritability has been shown to be substantial and higher in the variant of MDD characterized by recurrent episodes of depression. Genetic studies have thus far failed to identify clear and consistent evidence of genetic risk factors for MDD. We conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in two independent datasets. The first GWAS was performed on 1022 recurrent MDD patients and 1000 controls genotyped on the Illumina 550 platform. The second was conducted on 492 recurrent MDD patients and 1052 controls selected from a population-based collection, genotyped on the Affymetrix 5.0 platform. Neither GWAS identified any SNP that achieved GWAS significance. We obtained imputed genotypes at the Illumina loci for the individuals genotyped on the Affymetrix platform, and performed a meta-analysis of the two GWASs for this common set of approximately half a million SNPs. The meta-analysis did not yield genome-wide significant results either. The results from our study suggest that SNPs with substantial odds ratio are unlikely to exist for MDD, at least in our datasets and among the relatively common SNPs genotyped or tagged by the half-million-loci arrays. Meta-analysis of larger datasets is warranted to identify SNPs with smaller effects or with rarer allele frequencies that contribute to the risk of MDD.

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