Simon E. Fisher

Publications

Displaying 1 - 100 of 280
  • Bignardi, G., Smit, D. J. A., Vessel, E. A., Trupp, M. D., Ticini, L. F., Fisher, S. E., & Polderman, T. J. C. (2024). Genetic effects on variability in visual aesthetic evaluations are partially shared across visual domains. Communications Biology, 7: 55. doi:10.1038/s42003-023-05710-4.

    Abstract

    The aesthetic values that individuals place on visual images are formed and shaped over a lifetime. However, whether the formation of visual aesthetic value is solely influenced by environmental exposure is still a matter of debate. Here, we considered differences in aesthetic value emerging across three visual domains: abstract images, scenes, and faces. We examined variability in two major dimensions of ordinary aesthetic experiences: taste-typicality and evaluation-bias. We build on two samples from the Australian Twin Registry where 1547 and 1231 monozygotic and dizygotic twins originally rated visual images belonging to the three domains. Genetic influences explained 26% to 41% of the variance in taste-typicality and evaluation-bias. Multivariate analyses showed that genetic effects were partially shared across visual domains. Results indicate that the heritability of major dimensions of aesthetic evaluations is comparable to that of other complex social traits, albeit lower than for other complex cognitive traits. The exception was taste-typicality for abstract images, for which we found only shared and unique environmental influences. Our study reveals that diverse sources of genetic and environmental variation influence the formation of aesthetic value across distinct visual domains and provides improved metrics to assess inter-individual differences in aesthetic value.

    Additional information

    supplementary information
  • Boen, R., Kaufmann, T., Van der Meer, D., Frei, O., Agartz, I., Ames, D., Andersson, M., Armstrong, N. J., Artiges, E., Atkins, J. R., Bauer, J., Benedetti, F., Boomsma, D. I., Brodaty, H., Brosch, K., Buckner, R. L., Cairns, M. J., Calhoun, V., Caspers, S., Cichon, S. and 96 moreBoen, R., Kaufmann, T., Van der Meer, D., Frei, O., Agartz, I., Ames, D., Andersson, M., Armstrong, N. J., Artiges, E., Atkins, J. R., Bauer, J., Benedetti, F., Boomsma, D. I., Brodaty, H., Brosch, K., Buckner, R. L., Cairns, M. J., Calhoun, V., Caspers, S., Cichon, S., Corvin, A. P., Crespo Facorro, B., Dannlowski, U., David, F. S., De Geus, E. J., De Zubicaray, G. I., Desrivières, S., Doherty, J. L., Donohoe, G., Ehrlich, S., Eising, E., Espeseth, T., Fisher, S. E., Forstner, A. J., Fortaner Uyà, L., Frouin, V., Fukunaga, M., Ge, T., Glahn, D. C., Goltermann, J., Grabe, H. J., Green, M. J., Groenewold, N. A., Grotegerd, D., Hahn, T., Hashimoto, R., Hehir-Kwa, J. Y., Henskens, F. A., Holmes, A. J., Haberg, A. K., Haavik, J., Jacquemont, S., Jansen, A., Jockwitz, C., Jonsson, E. G., Kikuchi, M., Kircher, T., Kumar, K., Le Hellard, S., Leu, C., Linden, D. E., Liu, J., Loughnan, R., Mather, K. A., McMahon, K. L., McRae, A. F., Medland, S. E., Meinert, S., Moreau, C. A., Morris, D. W., Mowry, B. J., Muhleisen, T. W., Nenadić, I., Nöthen, M. M., Nyberg, L., Owen, M. J., Paolini, M., Paus, T., Pausova, Z., Persson, K., Quidé, Y., Reis Marques, T., Sachdev, P. S., Sando, S. B., Schall, U., Scott, R. J., Selbæk, G., Shumskaya, E., Silva, A. I., Sisodiya, S. M., Stein, F., Stein, D. J., Straube, B., Streit, F., Strike, L. T., Teumer, A., Teutenberg, L., Thalamuthu, A., Tooney, P. A., Tordesillas-Gutierrez, D., Trollor, J. N., Van 't Ent, D., Van den Bree, M. B. M., Van Haren, N. E. M., Vazquez-Bourgon, J., Volzke, H., Wen, W., Wittfeld, K., Ching, C. R., Westlye, L. T., Thompson, P. M., Bearden, C. E., Selmer, K. K., Alnæs, D., Andreassen, O. A., & Sonderby, I. E. (2024). Beyond the global brain differences: Intra-individual variability differences in 1q21.1 distal and 15q11.2 BP1-BP2 deletion carriers. Biological Psychiatry, 95(2), 147-160. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2023.08.018.

    Abstract

    Background

    The 1q21.1 distal and 15q11.2 BP1-BP2 CNVs exhibit regional and global brain differences compared to non-carriers. However, interpreting regional differences is challenging if a global difference drives the regional brain differences. Intra-individual variability measures can be used to test for regional differences beyond global differences in brain structure.

    Methods

    Magnetic resonance imaging data were used to obtain regional brain values for 1q21.1 distal deletion (n=30) and duplication (n=27), and 15q11.2 BP1-BP2 deletion (n=170) and duplication (n=243) carriers and matched non-carriers (n=2,350). Regional intra-deviation (RID) scores i.e., the standardized difference between an individual’s regional difference and global difference, were used to test for regional differences that diverge from the global difference.

    Results

    For the 1q21.1 distal deletion carriers, cortical surface area for regions in the medial visual cortex, posterior cingulate and temporal pole differed less, and regions in the prefrontal and superior temporal cortex differed more than the global difference in cortical surface area. For the 15q11.2 BP1-BP2 deletion carriers, cortical thickness in regions in the medial visual cortex, auditory cortex and temporal pole differed less, and the prefrontal and somatosensory cortex differed more than the global difference in cortical thickness.

    Conclusion

    We find evidence for regional effects beyond differences in global brain measures in 1q21.1 distal and 15q11.2 BP1-BP2 CNVs. The results provide new insight into brain profiling of the 1q21.1 distal and 15q11.2 BP1-BP2 CNVs, with the potential to increase our understanding of mechanisms involved in altered neurodevelopment.

    Additional information

    supplementary material
  • Eising, E., Vino, A., Mabie, H. L., Campbell, T. F., Shriberg, L. D., & Fisher, S. E. (2024). Genome sequencing of idiopathic speech delay. Human Mutation, 2024: 9692863. doi:10.1155/2024/9692863.

    Abstract

    Genetic investigations of people with speech and language disorders can provide windows into key aspects of human biology. Most genomic research into impaired speech development has so far focused on childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), a rare neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by difficulties with coordinating rapid fine motor sequences that underlie proficient speech. In 2001, pathogenic variants of FOXP2 provided the first molecular genetic accounts of CAS aetiology. Since then, disruptions in several other genes have been implicated in CAS, with a substantial proportion of cases being explained by high-penetrance variants. However, the genetic architecture underlying other speech-related disorders remains less well understood. Thus, in the present study, we used systematic DNA sequencing methods to investigate idiopathic speech delay, as characterized by delayed speech development in the absence of a motor speech diagnosis (such as CAS), a language/reading disorder, or intellectual disability. We performed genome sequencing in a cohort of 23 children with a rigorous diagnosis of idiopathic speech delay. For roughly half of the sample (ten probands), sufficient DNA was also available for genome sequencing in both parents, allowing discovery of de novo variants. In the thirteen singleton probands, we focused on identifying loss-of-function and likely damaging missense variants in genes intolerant to such mutations. We found that one speech delay proband carried a pathogenic frameshift deletion in SETD1A, a gene previously implicated in a broader variable monogenic syndrome characterized by global developmental problems including delayed speech and/or language development, mild intellectual disability, facial dysmorphisms, and behavioural and psychiatric symptoms. Of note, pathogenic SETD1A variants have been independently reported in children with CAS in two separate studies. In other probands in our speech delay cohort, likely pathogenic missense variants were identified affecting highly conserved amino acids in key functional domains of SPTBN1 and ARF3. Overall, this study expands the phenotype spectrum associated with pathogenic SETD1A variants, to also include idiopathic speech delay without CAS or intellectual disability, and suggests additional novel potential candidate genes that may harbour high-penetrance variants that can disrupt speech development.

    Additional information

    supplemental table
  • Engelen, M. M., Franken, M.-C.-J.-P., Stipdonk, L. W., Horton, S. E., Jackson, V. E., Reilly, S., Morgan, A. T., Fisher, S. E., Van Dulmen, S., & Eising, E. (2024). The association between stuttering burden and psychosocial aspects of life in adults. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 67(5), 1385-1399. doi:10.1044/2024_JSLHR-23-00562.

    Abstract

    Purpose:
    Stuttering is a speech condition that can have a major impact on a person's quality of life. This descriptive study aimed to identify subgroups of people who stutter (PWS) based on stuttering burden and to investigate differences between these subgroups on psychosocial aspects of life.

    Method:
    The study included 618 adult participants who stutter. They completed a detailed survey examining stuttering symptomatology, impact of stuttering on anxiety, education and employment, experience of stuttering, and levels of depression, anxiety, and stress. A two-step cluster analytic procedure was performed to identify subgroups of PWS, based on self-report of stuttering frequency, severity, affect, and anxiety, four measures that together inform about stuttering burden.

    Results:
    We identified a high- (n = 230) and a low-burden subgroup (n = 372). The high-burden subgroup reported a significantly higher impact of stuttering on education and employment, and higher levels of general depression, anxiety, stress, and overall impact of stuttering. These participants also reported that they trialed more different stuttering therapies than those with lower burden.

    Conclusions:
    Our results emphasize the need to be attentive to the diverse experiences and needs of PWS, rather than treating them as a homogeneous group. Our findings also stress the importance of personalized therapeutic strategies for individuals with stuttering, considering all aspects that could influence their stuttering burden. People with high-burden stuttering might, for example, have a higher need for psychological therapy to reduce stuttering-related anxiety. People with less emotional reactions but severe speech distortions may also have a moderate to high burden, but they may have a higher need for speech techniques to communicate with more ease. Future research should give more insights into the therapeutic needs of people highly burdened by their stuttering.
  • Ge, R., Yu, Y., Qi, Y. X., Fan, Y.-n., Chen, S., Gao, C., Haas, S. S., New, F., Boomsma, D. I., Brodaty, H., Brouwer, R. M., Buckner, R., Caseras, X., Crivello, F., Crone, E. A., Erk, S., Fisher, S. E., Franke, B., Glahn, D. C., Dannlowski, U. Ge, R., Yu, Y., Qi, Y. X., Fan, Y.-n., Chen, S., Gao, C., Haas, S. S., New, F., Boomsma, D. I., Brodaty, H., Brouwer, R. M., Buckner, R., Caseras, X., Crivello, F., Crone, E. A., Erk, S., Fisher, S. E., Franke, B., Glahn, D. C., Dannlowski, U., Grotegerd, D., Gruber, O., Hulshoff Pol, H. E., Schumann, G., Tamnes, C. K., Walter, H., Wierenga, L. M., Jahanshad, N., Thompson, P. M., Frangou, S., & ENIGMA Lifespan Working Group (2024). Normative modelling of brain morphometry across the lifespan with CentileBrain: Algorithm benchmarking and model optimisation. The Lancet Digital Health, 6(3), e211-e221. doi:10.1016/S2589-7500(23)00250-9.

    Abstract

    The value of normative models in research and clinical practice relies on their robustness and a systematic comparison of different modelling algorithms and parameters; however, this has not been done to date. We aimed to identify the optimal approach for normative modelling of brain morphometric data through systematic empirical benchmarking, by quantifying the accuracy of different algorithms and identifying parameters that optimised model performance. We developed this framework with regional morphometric data from 37 407 healthy individuals (53% female and 47% male; aged 3–90 years) from 87 datasets from Europe, Australia, the USA, South Africa, and east Asia following a comparative evaluation of eight algorithms and multiple covariate combinations pertaining to image acquisition and quality, parcellation software versions, global neuroimaging measures, and longitudinal stability. The multivariate fractional polynomial regression (MFPR) emerged as the preferred algorithm, optimised with non-linear polynomials for age and linear effects of global measures as covariates. The MFPR models showed excellent accuracy across the lifespan and within distinct age-bins and longitudinal stability over a 2-year period. The performance of all MFPR models plateaued at sample sizes exceeding 3000 study participants. This model can inform about the biological and behavioural implications of deviations from typical age-related neuroanatomical changes and support future study designs. The model and scripts described here are freely available through CentileBrain.
  • Goltermann*, O., Alagöz*, G., Molz, B., & Fisher, S. E. (2024). Neuroimaging genomics as a window into the evolution of human sulcal organization. Cerebral Cortex, 34(3): bhae078. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhae078.

    Abstract

    * Ole Goltermann and Gökberk Alagöz contributed equally.
    Primate brain evolution has involved prominent expansions of the cerebral cortex, with largest effects observed in the human lineage. Such expansions were accompanied by fine-grained anatomical alterations, including increased cortical folding. However, the molecular bases of evolutionary alterations in human sulcal organization are not yet well understood. Here, we integrated data from recently completed large-scale neuroimaging genetic analyses with annotations of the human genome relevant to various periods and events in our evolutionary history. These analyses identified single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) heritability enrichments in fetal brain human-gained enhancer (HGE) elements for a number of sulcal structures, including the central sulcus, which is implicated in human hand dexterity. We zeroed in on a genomic region that harbors DNA variants associated with left central sulcus shape, an HGE element, and genetic loci involved in neurogenesis including ZIC4, to illustrate the value of this approach for probing the complex factors contributing to human sulcal evolution.

    Additional information

    supplementary data link to preprint
  • De Hoyos, L., Barendse, M. T., Schlag, F., Van Donkelaar, M. M. J., Verhoef, E., Shapland, C. Y., Klassmann, A., Buitelaar, J., Verhulst, B., Fisher, S. E., Rai, D., & St Pourcain, B. (2024). Structural models of genome-wide covariance identify multiple common dimensions in autism. Nature Communications, 15: 1770. doi:10.1038/s41467-024-46128-8.

    Abstract

    Common genetic variation has been associated with multiple symptoms in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). However, our knowledge of shared genetic factor structures contributing to this highly heterogeneous neurodevelopmental condition is limited. Here, we developed a structural equation modelling framework to directly model genome-wide covariance across core and non-core ASD phenotypes, studying autistic individuals of European descent using a case-only design. We identified three independent genetic factors most strongly linked to language/cognition, behaviour and motor development, respectively, when studying a population-representative sample (N=5,331). These analyses revealed novel associations. For example, developmental delay in acquiring personal-social skills was inversely related to language, while developmental motor delay was linked to self-injurious behaviour. We largely confirmed the three-factorial structure in independent ASD-simplex families (N=1,946), but uncovered simplex-specific genetic overlap between behaviour and language phenotypes. Thus, the common genetic architecture in ASD is multi-dimensional and contributes, in combination with ascertainment-specific patterns, to phenotypic heterogeneity.
  • Schijven, D., Soheili-Nezhad, S., Fisher, S. E., & Francks, C. (2024). Exome-wide analysis implicates rare protein-altering variants in human handedness. Nature Communications, 15: 2632. doi:10.1038/s41467-024-46277-w.

    Abstract

    Handedness is a manifestation of brain hemispheric specialization. Left-handedness occurs at increased rates in neurodevelopmental disorders. Genome-wide association studies have identified common genetic effects on handedness or brain asymmetry, which mostly involve variants outside protein-coding regions and may affect gene expression. Implicated genes include several that encode tubulins (microtubule components) or microtubule-associated proteins. Here we examine whether left-handedness is also influenced by rare coding variants (frequencies ≤ 1%), using exome data from 38,043 left-handed and 313,271 right-handed individuals from the UK Biobank. The beta-tubulin gene TUBB4B shows exome-wide significant association, with a rate of rare coding variants 2.7 times higher in left-handers than right-handers. The TUBB4B variants are mostly heterozygous missense changes, but include two frameshifts found only in left-handers. Other TUBB4B variants have been linked to sensorineural and/or ciliopathic disorders, but not the variants found here. Among genes previously implicated in autism or schizophrenia by exome screening, DSCAM and FOXP1 show evidence for rare coding variant association with left-handedness. The exome-wide heritability of left-handedness due to rare coding variants was 0.91%. This study reveals a role for rare, protein-altering variants in left-handedness, providing further evidence for the involvement of microtubules and disorder-relevant genes.
  • Verhoef, E., Allegrini, A. G., Jansen, P. R., Lange, K., Wang, C. A., Morgan, A. T., Ahluwalia, T. S., Symeonides, C., EAGLE-Working Group, Eising, E., Franken, M.-C., Hypponen, E., Mansell, T., Olislagers, M., Omerovic, E., Rimfeld, K., Schlag, F., Selzam, S., Shapland, C. Y., Tiemeier, H., Whitehouse, A. J. O. Verhoef, E., Allegrini, A. G., Jansen, P. R., Lange, K., Wang, C. A., Morgan, A. T., Ahluwalia, T. S., Symeonides, C., EAGLE-Working Group, Eising, E., Franken, M.-C., Hypponen, E., Mansell, T., Olislagers, M., Omerovic, E., Rimfeld, K., Schlag, F., Selzam, S., Shapland, C. Y., Tiemeier, H., Whitehouse, A. J. O., Saffery, R., Bønnelykke, K., Reilly, S., Pennell, C. E., Wake, M., Cecil, C. A., Plomin, R., Fisher, S. E., & St Pourcain, B. (2024). Genome-wide analyses of vocabulary size in infancy and toddlerhood: Associations with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and cognition-related traits. Biological Psychiatry, 95(1), 859-869. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2023.11.025.

    Abstract

    Background

    The number of words children produce (expressive vocabulary) and understand (receptive vocabulary) changes rapidly during early development, partially due to genetic factors. Here, we performed a meta–genome-wide association study of vocabulary acquisition and investigated polygenic overlap with literacy, cognition, developmental phenotypes, and neurodevelopmental conditions, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    Methods

    We studied 37,913 parent-reported vocabulary size measures (English, Dutch, Danish) for 17,298 children of European descent. Meta-analyses were performed for early-phase expressive (infancy, 15–18 months), late-phase expressive (toddlerhood, 24–38 months), and late-phase receptive (toddlerhood, 24–38 months) vocabulary. Subsequently, we estimated single nucleotide polymorphism–based heritability (SNP-h2) and genetic correlations (rg) and modeled underlying factor structures with multivariate models.

    Results

    Early-life vocabulary size was modestly heritable (SNP-h2 = 0.08–0.24). Genetic overlap between infant expressive and toddler receptive vocabulary was negligible (rg = 0.07), although each measure was moderately related to toddler expressive vocabulary (rg = 0.69 and rg = 0.67, respectively), suggesting a multifactorial genetic architecture. Both infant and toddler expressive vocabulary were genetically linked to literacy (e.g., spelling: rg = 0.58 and rg = 0.79, respectively), underlining genetic similarity. However, a genetic association of early-life vocabulary with educational attainment and intelligence emerged only during toddlerhood (e.g., receptive vocabulary and intelligence: rg = 0.36). Increased ADHD risk was genetically associated with larger infant expressive vocabulary (rg = 0.23). Multivariate genetic models in the ALSPAC (Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children) cohort confirmed this finding for ADHD symptoms (e.g., at age 13; rg = 0.54) but showed that the association effect reversed for toddler receptive vocabulary (rg = −0.74), highlighting developmental heterogeneity.

    Conclusions

    The genetic architecture of early-life vocabulary changes during development, shaping polygenic association patterns with later-life ADHD, literacy, and cognition-related traits.
  • Wesseldijk, L. W., Henechowicz, T. L., Baker, D. J., Bignardi, G., Karlsson, R., Gordon, R. L., Mosing, M. A., Ullén, F., & Fisher, S. E. (2024). Notes from Beethoven’s genome. Current Biology, 34(6), R233-R234. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2024.01.025.

    Abstract

    Rapid advances over the last decade in DNA sequencing and statistical genetics enable us to investigate the genomic makeup of individuals throughout history. In a recent notable study, Begg et al.1 used Ludwig van Beethoven’s hair strands for genome sequencing and explored genetic predispositions for some of his documented medical issues. Given that it was arguably Beethoven’s skills as a musician and composer that made him an iconic figure in Western culture, we here extend the approach and apply it to musicality. We use this as an example to illustrate the broader challenges of individual-level genetic predictions.

    Additional information

    supplemental information
  • Abbondanza, F., Dale, P. S., Wang, C. A., Hayiou‐Thomas, M. E., Toseeb, U., Koomar, T. S., Wigg, K. G., Feng, Y., Price, K. M., Kerr, E. N., Guger, S. L., Lovett, M. W., Strug, L. J., Van Bergen, E., Dolan, C. V., Tomblin, J. B., Moll, K., Schulte‐Körne, G., Neuhoff, N., Warnke, A. and 13 moreAbbondanza, F., Dale, P. S., Wang, C. A., Hayiou‐Thomas, M. E., Toseeb, U., Koomar, T. S., Wigg, K. G., Feng, Y., Price, K. M., Kerr, E. N., Guger, S. L., Lovett, M. W., Strug, L. J., Van Bergen, E., Dolan, C. V., Tomblin, J. B., Moll, K., Schulte‐Körne, G., Neuhoff, N., Warnke, A., Fisher, S. E., Barr, C. L., Michaelson, J. J., Boomsma, D. I., Snowling, M. J., Hulme, C., Whitehouse, A. J. O., Pennell, C. E., Newbury, D. F., Stein, J., Talcott, J. B., Bishop, D. V. M., & Paracchini, S. (2023). Language and reading impairments are associated with increased prevalence of non‐right‐handedness. Child Development, 94(4), 970-984. doi:10.1111/cdev.13914.

    Abstract

    Handedness has been studied for association with language-related disorders because of its link with language hemispheric dominance. No clear pattern has emerged, possibly because of small samples, publication bias, and heterogeneous criteria across studies. Non-right-handedness (NRH) frequency was assessed in N = 2503 cases with reading and/or language impairment and N = 4316 sex-matched controls identified from 10 distinct cohorts (age range 6–19 years old; European ethnicity) using a priori set criteria. A meta-analysis (Ncases = 1994) showed elevated NRH % in individuals with language/reading impairment compared with controls (OR = 1.21, CI = 1.06–1.39, p = .01). The association between reading/language impairments and NRH could result from shared pathways underlying brain lateralization, handedness, and cognitive functions.

    Additional information

    supplementary information
  • Heim, F., Fisher, S. E., Scharff, C., Ten Cate, C., & Riebel, K. (2023). Effects of cortical FoxP1 knockdowns on learned song preference in female zebra finches. eNeuro, 10(3): ENEURO.0328-22.2023. doi:10.1523/ENEURO.0328-22.2023.

    Abstract

    The search for molecular underpinnings of human vocal communication has focused on genes encoding forkhead-box transcription factors, as rare disruptions of FOXP1, FOXP2, and FOXP4 have been linked to disorders involving speech and language deficits. In male songbirds, an animal model for vocal learning, experimentally altered expression levels of these transcription factors impair song production learning. The relative contributions of auditory processing, motor function or auditory-motor integration to the deficits observed after different FoxP manipulations in songbirds are unknown. To examine the potential effects on auditory learning and development, we focused on female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) that do not sing but develop song memories, which can be assayed in operant preference tests. We tested whether the relatively high levels of FoxP1 expression in forebrain areas implicated in female song preference learning are crucial for the development and/or maintenance of this behavior. Juvenile and adult female zebra finches received FoxP1 knockdowns targeted to HVC (proper name) or to the caudomedial mesopallium (CMM). Irrespective of target site and whether the knockdown took place before (juveniles) or after (adults) the sensitive phase for song memorization, all groups preferred their tutor’s song. However, adult females with FoxP1 knockdowns targeted at HVC showed weaker motivation to hear song and weaker song preferences than sham-treated controls, while no such differences were observed after knockdowns in CMM or in juveniles. In summary, FoxP1 knockdowns in the cortical song nucleus HVC were not associated with impaired tutor song memory but reduced motivation to actively request tutor songs.
  • Horton, S., Jackson, V., Boyce, J., Franken, M.-C., Siemers, S., St John, M., Hearps, S., Van Reyk, O., Braden, R., Parker, R., Vogel, A. P., Eising, E., Amor, D. J., Irvine, J., Fisher, S. E., Martin, N. G., Reilly, S., Bahlo, M., Scheffer, I., & Morgan, A. (2023). Self-reported stuttering severity is accurate: Informing methods for large-scale data collection in stuttering. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. Advance online publication. doi:10.1044/2023_JSLHR-23-00081.

    Abstract

    Purpose:
    To our knowledge, there are no data examining the agreement between self-reported and clinician-rated stuttering severity. In the era of big data, self-reported ratings have great potential utility for large-scale data collection, where cost and time preclude in-depth assessment by a clinician. Equally, there is increasing emphasis on the need to recognize an individual's experience of their own condition. Here, we examined the agreement between self-reported stuttering severity compared to clinician ratings during a speech assessment. As a secondary objective, we determined whether self-reported stuttering severity correlated with an individual's subjective impact of stuttering.

    Method:
    Speech-language pathologists conducted face-to-face speech assessments with 195 participants (137 males) aged 5–84 years, recruited from a cohort of people with self-reported stuttering. Stuttering severity was rated on a 10-point scale by the participant and by two speech-language pathologists. Participants also completed the Overall Assessment of the Subjective Experience of Stuttering (OASES). Clinician and participant ratings were compared. The association between stuttering severity and the OASES scores was examined.

    Results:
    There was a strong positive correlation between speech-language pathologist and participant-reported ratings of stuttering severity. Participant-reported stuttering severity correlated weakly with the four OASES domains and with the OASES overall impact score.

    Conclusions:
    Participants were able to accurately rate their stuttering severity during a speech assessment using a simple one-item question. This finding indicates that self-report stuttering severity is a suitable method for large-scale data collection. Findings also support the collection of self-report subjective experience data using questionnaires, such as the OASES, which add vital information about the participants' experience of stuttering that is not captured by overt speech severity ratings alone.
  • Kaspi, A., Hildebrand, M. S., Jackson, V. E., Braden, R., Van Reyk, O., Howell, T., Debono, S., Lauretta, M., Morison, L., Coleman, M. J., Webster, R., Coman, D., Goel, H., Wallis, M., Dabscheck, G., Downie, L., Baker, E. K., Parry-Fielder, B., Ballard, K., Harrold, E. and 10 moreKaspi, A., Hildebrand, M. S., Jackson, V. E., Braden, R., Van Reyk, O., Howell, T., Debono, S., Lauretta, M., Morison, L., Coleman, M. J., Webster, R., Coman, D., Goel, H., Wallis, M., Dabscheck, G., Downie, L., Baker, E. K., Parry-Fielder, B., Ballard, K., Harrold, E., Ziegenfusz, S., Bennett, M. F., Robertson, E., Wang, L., Boys, A., Fisher, S. E., Amor, D. J., Scheffer, I. E., Bahlo, M., & Morgan, A. T. (2023). Genetic aetiologies for childhood speech disorder: Novel pathways co-expressed during brain development. Molecular Psychiatry, 28, 1647-1663. doi:10.1038/s41380-022-01764-8.

    Abstract

    Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), the prototypic severe childhood speech disorder, is characterized by motor programming and planning deficits. Genetic factors make substantive contributions to CAS aetiology, with a monogenic pathogenic variant identified in a third of cases, implicating around 20 single genes to date. Here we aimed to identify molecular causation in 70 unrelated probands ascertained with CAS. We performed trio genome sequencing. Our bioinformatic analysis examined single nucleotide, indel, copy number, structural and short tandem repeat variants. We prioritised appropriate variants arising de novo or inherited that were expected to be damaging based on in silico predictions. We identified high confidence variants in 18/70 (26%) probands, almost doubling the current number of candidate genes for CAS. Three of the 18 variants affected SETBP1, SETD1A and DDX3X, thus confirming their roles in CAS, while the remaining 15 occurred in genes not previously associated with this disorder. Fifteen variants arose de novo and three were inherited. We provide further novel insights into the biology of child speech disorder, highlighting the roles of chromatin organization and gene regulation in CAS, and confirm that genes involved in CAS are co-expressed during brain development. Our findings confirm a diagnostic yield comparable to, or even higher, than other neurodevelopmental disorders with substantial de novo variant burden. Data also support the increasingly recognised overlaps between genes conferring risk for a range of neurodevelopmental disorders. Understanding the aetiological basis of CAS is critical to end the diagnostic odyssey and ensure affected individuals are poised for precision medicine trials.
  • Lemaitre, H., Le Guen, Y., Tilot, A. K., Stein, J. L., Philippe, C., Mangin, J.-F., Fisher, S. E., & Frouin, V. (2023). Genetic variations within human gained enhancer elements affect human brain sulcal morphology. NeuroImage, 265: 119773. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2022.119773.

    Abstract

    The expansion of the cerebral cortex is one of the most distinctive changes in the evolution of the human brain. Cortical expansion and related increases in cortical folding may have contributed to emergence of our capacities for high-order cognitive abilities. Molecular analysis of humans, archaic hominins, and non-human primates has allowed identification of chromosomal regions showing evolutionary changes at different points of our phylogenetic history. In this study, we assessed the contributions of genomic annotations spanning 30 million years to human sulcal morphology measured via MRI in more than 18,000 participants from the UK Biobank. We found that variation within brain-expressed human gained enhancers, regulatory genetic elements that emerged since our last common ancestor with Old World monkeys, explained more trait heritability than expected for the left and right calloso-marginal posterior fissures and the right central sulcus. Intriguingly, these are sulci that have been previously linked to the evolution of locomotion in primates and later on bipedalism in our hominin ancestors.

    Additional information

    tables
  • Morison, L., Meffert, E., Stampfer, M., Steiner-Wilke, I., Vollmer, B., Schulze, K., Briggs, T., Braden, R., Vogel, A. P., Thompson-Lake, D., Patel, C., Blair, E., Goel, H., Turner, S., Moog, U., Riess, A., Liegeois, F., Koolen, D. A., Amor, D. J., Kleefstra, T. and 3 moreMorison, L., Meffert, E., Stampfer, M., Steiner-Wilke, I., Vollmer, B., Schulze, K., Briggs, T., Braden, R., Vogel, A. P., Thompson-Lake, D., Patel, C., Blair, E., Goel, H., Turner, S., Moog, U., Riess, A., Liegeois, F., Koolen, D. A., Amor, D. J., Kleefstra, T., Fisher, S. E., Zweier, C., & Morgan, A. T. (2023). In-depth characterisation of a cohort of individuals with missense and loss-of-function variants disrupting FOXP2. Journal of Medical Genetics, 60(6), 597-607. doi:10.1136/jmg-2022-108734.

    Abstract

    Background
    Heterozygous disruptions of FOXP2 were the first identified molecular cause for severe speech disorder; childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), yet few cases have been reported, limiting knowledge of the condition.

    Methods
    Here we phenotyped 29 individuals from 18 families with pathogenic FOXP2-only variants (13 loss-of-function, 5 missense variants; 14 males; aged 2 years to 62 years). Health and development (cognitive, motor, social domains) was examined, including speech and language outcomes with the first cross-linguistic analysis of English and German.

    Results
    Speech disorders were prevalent (24/26, 92%) and CAS was most common (23/26, 89%), with similar speech presentations across English and German. Speech was still impaired in adulthood and some speech sounds (e.g. ‘th’, ‘r’, ‘ch’, ‘j’) were never acquired. Language impairments (22/26, 85%) ranged from mild to severe. Comorbidities included feeding difficulties in infancy (10/27, 37%), fine (14/27, 52%) and gross (14/27, 52%) motor impairment, anxiety (6/28, 21%), depression (7/28, 25%), and sleep disturbance (11/15, 44%). Physical features were common (23/28, 82%) but with no consistent pattern. Cognition ranged from average to mildly impaired, and was incongruent with language ability; for example, seven participants with severe language disorder had average non-verbal cognition.

    Conclusions
    Although we identify increased prevalence of conditions like anxiety, depression and sleep disturbance, we confirm that the consequences of FOXP2 dysfunction remain relatively specific to speech disorder, as compared to other recently identified monogenic conditions associated with CAS. Thus, our findings reinforce that FOXP2 provides a valuable entrypoint for examining the neurobiological bases of speech disorder.
  • Oliveira‑Stahl, G., Farboud, S., Sterling, M. L., Heckman, J. J., Van Raalte, B., Lenferink, D., Van der Stam, A., Smeets, C. J. L. M., Fisher, S. E., & Englitz, B. (2023). High-precision spatial analysis of mouse courtship vocalization behavior reveals sex and strain differences. Scientific Reports, 13: 5219. doi:10.1038/s41598-023-31554-3.

    Abstract

    Mice display a wide repertoire of vocalizations that varies with sex, strain, and context. Especially during social interaction, including sexually motivated dyadic interaction, mice emit sequences of ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) of high complexity. As animals of both sexes vocalize, a reliable attribution of USVs to their emitter is essential. The state-of-the-art in sound localization for USVs in 2D allows spatial localization at a resolution of multiple centimeters. However, animals interact at closer ranges, e.g. snout-to-snout. Hence, improved algorithms are required to reliably assign USVs. We present a novel algorithm, SLIM (Sound Localization via Intersecting Manifolds), that achieves a 2–3-fold improvement in accuracy (13.1–14.3 mm) using only 4 microphones and extends to many microphones and localization in 3D. This accuracy allows reliable assignment of 84.3% of all USVs in our dataset. We apply SLIM to courtship interactions between adult C57Bl/6J wildtype mice and those carrying a heterozygous Foxp2 variant (R552H). The improved spatial accuracy reveals that vocalization behavior is dependent on the spatial relation between the interacting mice. Female mice vocalized more in close snout-to-snout interaction while male mice vocalized more when the male snout was in close proximity to the female's ano-genital region. Further, we find that the acoustic properties of the ultrasonic vocalizations (duration, Wiener Entropy, and sound level) are dependent on the spatial relation between the interacting mice as well as on the genotype. In conclusion, the improved attribution of vocalizations to their emitters provides a foundation for better understanding social vocal behaviors.

    Additional information

    supplementary movies and figures
  • Schijven, D., Postema, M., Fukunaga, M., Matsumoto, J., Miura, K., De Zwarte, S. M., Van Haren, N. E. M., Cahn, W., Hulshoff Pol, H. E., Kahn, R. S., Ayesa-Arriola, R., Ortiz-García de la Foz, V., Tordesillas-Gutierrez, D., Vázquez-Bourgon, J., Crespo-Facorro, B., Alnæs, D., Dahl, A., Westlye, L. T., Agartz, I., Andreassen, O. A. and 129 moreSchijven, D., Postema, M., Fukunaga, M., Matsumoto, J., Miura, K., De Zwarte, S. M., Van Haren, N. E. M., Cahn, W., Hulshoff Pol, H. E., Kahn, R. S., Ayesa-Arriola, R., Ortiz-García de la Foz, V., Tordesillas-Gutierrez, D., Vázquez-Bourgon, J., Crespo-Facorro, B., Alnæs, D., Dahl, A., Westlye, L. T., Agartz, I., Andreassen, O. A., Jönsson, E. G., Kochunov, P., Bruggemann, J. M., Catts, S. V., Michie, P. T., Mowry, B. J., Quidé, Y., Rasser, P. E., Schall, U., Scott, R. J., Carr, V. J., Green, M. J., Henskens, F. A., Loughland, C. M., Pantelis, C., Weickert, C. S., Weickert, T. W., De Haan, L., Brosch, K., Pfarr, J.-K., Ringwald, K. G., Stein, F., Jansen, A., Kircher, T. T., Nenadić, I., Krämer, B., Gruber, O., Satterthwaite, T. D., Bustillo, J., Mathalon, D. H., Preda, A., Calhoun, V. D., Ford, J. M., Potkin, S. G., Chen, J., Tan, Y., Wang, Z., Xiang, H., Fan, F., Bernardoni, F., Ehrlich, S., Fuentes-Claramonte, P., Garcia-Leon, M. A., Guerrero-Pedraza, A., Salvador, R., Sarró, S., Pomarol-Clotet, E., Ciullo, V., Piras, F., Vecchio, D., Banaj, N., Spalletta, G., Michielse, S., Van Amelsvoort, T., Dickie, E. W., Voineskos, A. N., Sim, K., Ciufolini, S., Dazzan, P., Murray, R. M., Kim, W.-S., Chung, Y.-C., Andreou, C., Schmidt, A., Borgwardt, S., McIntosh, A. M., Whalley, H. C., Lawrie, S. M., Du Plessis, S., Luckhoff, H. K., Scheffler, F., Emsley, R., Grotegerd, D., Lencer, R., Dannlowski, U., Edmond, J. T., Rootes-Murdy, K., Stephen, J. M., Mayer, A. R., Antonucci, L. A., Fazio, L., Pergola, G., Bertolino, A., Díaz-Caneja, C. M., Janssen, J., Lois, N. G., Arango, C., Tomyshev, A. S., Lebedeva, I., Cervenka, S., Sellgren, C. M., Georgiadis, F., Kirschner, M., Kaiser, S., Hajek, T., Skoch, A., Spaniel, F., Kim, M., Kwak, Y. B., Oh, S., Kwon, J. S., James, A., Bakker, G., Knöchel, C., Stäblein, M., Oertel, V., Uhlmann, A., Howells, F. M., Stein, D. J., Temmingh, H. S., Diaz-Zuluaga, A. M., Pineda-Zapata, J. A., López-Jaramillo, C., Homan, S., Ji, E., Surbeck, W., Homan, P., Fisher, S. E., Franke, B., Glahn, D. C., Gur, R. C., Hashimoto, R., Jahanshad, N., Luders, E., Medland, S. E., Thompson, P. M., Turner, J. A., Van Erp, T. G., & Francks, C. (2023). Large-scale analysis of structural brain asymmetries in schizophrenia via the ENIGMA consortium. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 120(14): e2213880120. doi:10.1073/pnas.2213880120.

    Abstract

    Left–right asymmetry is an important organizing feature of the healthy brain that may be altered in schizophrenia, but most studies have used relatively small samples and heterogeneous approaches, resulting in equivocal findings. We carried out the largest case–control study of structural brain asymmetries in schizophrenia, with MRI data from 5,080 affected individuals and 6,015 controls across 46 datasets, using a single image analysis protocol. Asymmetry indexes were calculated for global and regional cortical thickness, surface area, and subcortical volume measures. Differences of asymmetry were calculated between affected individuals and controls per dataset, and effect sizes were meta-analyzed across datasets. Small average case–control differences were observed for thickness asymmetries of the rostral anterior cingulate and the middle temporal gyrus, both driven by thinner left-hemispheric cortices in schizophrenia. Analyses of these asymmetries with respect to the use of antipsychotic medication and other clinical variables did not show any significant associations. Assessment of age- and sex-specific effects revealed a stronger average leftward asymmetry of pallidum volume between older cases and controls. Case–control differences in a multivariate context were assessed in a subset of the data (N = 2,029), which revealed that 7% of the variance across all structural asymmetries was explained by case–control status. Subtle case–control differences of brain macrostructural asymmetry may reflect differences at the molecular, cytoarchitectonic, or circuit levels that have functional relevance for the disorder. Reduced left middle temporal cortical thickness is consistent with altered left-hemisphere language network organization in schizophrenia.

    Additional information

    Supporting Information link to preprint
  • Sha, Z., Schijven, D., Fisher, S. E., & Francks, C. (2023). Genetic architecture of the white matter connectome of the human brain. Science Advances, 9(7): eadd2870. doi:10.1126/sciadv.add2870.

    Abstract

    White matter tracts form the structural basis of large-scale brain networks. We applied brain-wide tractography to diffusion images from 30,810 adults (U.K. Biobank) and found significant heritability for 90 node-level and 851 edge-level network connectivity measures. Multivariate genome-wide association analyses identified 325 genetic loci, of which 80% had not been previously associated with brain metrics. Enrichment analyses implicated neurodevelopmental processes including neurogenesis, neural differentiation, neural migration, neural projection guidance, and axon development, as well as prenatal brain expression especially in stem cells, astrocytes, microglia, and neurons. The multivariate association profiles implicated 31 loci in connectivity between core regions of the left-hemisphere language network. Polygenic scores for psychiatric, neurological, and behavioral traits also showed significant multivariate associations with structural connectivity, each implicating distinct sets of brain regions with trait-relevant functional profiles. This large-scale mapping study revealed common genetic contributions to variation in the structural connectome of the human brain.
  • Snijders Blok, L., Verseput, J., Rots, D., Venselaar, H., Innes, A. M., Stumpel, C., Õunap, K., Reinson, K., Seaby, E. G., McKee, S., Burton, B., Kim, K., Van Hagen, J. M., Waisfisz, Q., Joset, P., Steindl, K., Rauch, A., Li, D., Zackai, E. H., Sheppard, S. E. and 29 moreSnijders Blok, L., Verseput, J., Rots, D., Venselaar, H., Innes, A. M., Stumpel, C., Õunap, K., Reinson, K., Seaby, E. G., McKee, S., Burton, B., Kim, K., Van Hagen, J. M., Waisfisz, Q., Joset, P., Steindl, K., Rauch, A., Li, D., Zackai, E. H., Sheppard, S. E., Keena, B., Hakonarson, H., Roos, A., Kohlschmidt, N., Cereda, A., Iascone, M., Rebessi, E., Kernohan, K. D., Campeau, P. M., Millan, F., Taylor, J. A., Lochmüller, H., Higgs, M. R., Goula, A., Bernhard, B., Velasco, D. J., Schmanski, A. A., Stark, Z., Gallacher, L., Pais, L., Marcogliese, P. C., Yamamoto, S., Raun, N., Jakub, T. E., Kramer, J. M., Den Hoed, J., Fisher, S. E., Brunner, H. G., & Kleefstra, T. (2023). A clustering of heterozygous missense variants in the crucial chromatin modifier WDR5 defines a new neurodevelopmental disorder. Human Genetics and Genomics Advances, 4(1): 100157. doi:10.1016/j.xhgg.2022.100157.

    Abstract

    WDR5 is a broadly studied, highly conserved key protein involved in a wide array of biological functions. Among these functions, WDR5 is a part of several protein complexes that affect gene regulation via post-translational modification of histones. We collected data from 11 unrelated individuals with six different rare de novo germline missense variants in WDR5; one identical variant was found in five individuals, and another variant in two individuals. All individuals had neurodevelopmental disorders including speech/language delays (N=11), intellectual disability (N=9), epilepsy (N=7) and autism spectrum disorder (N=4). Additional phenotypic features included abnormal growth parameters (N=7), heart anomalies (N=2) and hearing loss (N=2). Three-dimensional protein structures indicate that all the residues affected by these variants are located at the surface of one side of the WDR5 protein. It is predicted that five out of the six amino acid substitutions disrupt interactions of WDR5 with RbBP5 and/or KMT2A/C, as part of the COMPASS (complex proteins associated with Set1) family complexes. Our experimental approaches in Drosophila melanogaster and human cell lines show normal protein expression, localization and protein-protein interactions for all tested variants. These results, together with the clustering of variants in a specific region of WDR5 and the absence of truncating variants so far, suggest that dominant-negative or gain-of-function mechanisms might be at play. All in all, we define a neurodevelopmental disorder associated with missense variants in WDR5 and a broad range of features. This finding highlights the important role of genes encoding COMPASS family proteins in neurodevelopmental disorders.
  • Sollis, E., Den Hoed, J., Quevedo, M., Estruch, S. B., Vino, A., Dekkers, D. H. W., Demmers, J. A. A., Poot, R., Derizioti, P., & Fisher, S. E. (2023). Characterization of the TBR1 interactome: Variants associated with neurodevelopmental disorders disrupt novel protein interactions. Human Molecular Genetics, 32(9): ddac311, pp. 1497-1510. doi:10.1093/hmg/ddac311.

    Abstract

    TBR1 is a neuron-specific transcription factor involved in brain development and implicated in a neurodevelopmental disorder (NDD) combining features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), intellectual disability (ID) and speech delay. TBR1 has been previously shown to interact with a small number of transcription factors and co-factors also involved in NDDs (including CASK, FOXP1/2/4 and BCL11A), suggesting that the wider TBR1 interactome may have a significant bearing on normal and abnormal brain development. Here we have identified approximately 250 putative TBR1-interaction partners by affinity purification coupled to mass spectrometry. As well as known TBR1-interactors such as CASK, the identified partners include transcription factors and chromatin modifiers, along with ASD- and ID-related proteins. Five interaction candidates were independently validated using bioluminescence resonance energy transfer assays. We went on to test the interaction of these candidates with TBR1 protein variants implicated in cases of NDD. The assays uncovered disturbed interactions for NDD-associated variants and identified two distinct protein-binding domains of TBR1 that have essential roles in protein–protein interaction.
  • Alagöz, G., Molz, B., Eising, E., Schijven, D., Francks, C., Jason L., S., & Fisher, S. E. (2022). Using neuroimaging genomics to investigate the evolution of human brain structure. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119(40): e2200638119. doi:10.1073/pnas.2200638119.

    Abstract

    Alterations in brain size and organization represent some of the most distinctive changes in the emergence of our species. Yet, there is limited understanding of how genetic factors contributed to altered neuroanatomy during human evolution. Here, we analyze neuroimaging and genetic data from up to 30,000 people in the UK Biobank and integrate with genomic annotations for different aspects of human evolution, including those based on ancient DNA and comparative genomics. We show that previously reported signals of recent polygenic selection for cortical anatomy are not replicable in a more ancestrally homogeneous sample. We then investigate relationships between evolutionary annotations and common genetic variants shaping cortical surface area and white-matter connectivity for each hemisphere. Our analyses identify single-nucleotide polymorphism heritability enrichment in human-gained regulatory elements that are active in early brain development, affecting surface areas of several parts of the cortex, including left-hemispheric speech-associated regions. We also detect heritability depletion in genomic regions with Neanderthal ancestry for connectivity of the uncinate fasciculus; this is a white-matter tract involved in memory, language, and socioemotional processing with relevance to neuropsychiatric disorders. Finally, we show that common genetic loci associated with left-hemispheric pars triangularis surface area overlap with a human-gained enhancer and affect regulation of ZIC4, a gene implicated in neurogenesis. This work demonstrates how genomic investigations of present-day neuroanatomical variation can help shed light on the complexities of our evolutionary past.

    Additional information

    supplementary information
  • De Boer, E., Ockeloen, C. W., Kampen, R. A., Hampstead, J. E., Dingemans, A. J. M., Rots, D., Lütje, L., Ashraf, T., Baker, R., Barat-Houari, M., Angle, B., Chatron, N., Denommé-Pichon, A.-S., Devinsky, O., Dubourg, C., Elmslie, F., Elloumi, H. Z., Faivre, L., Fitzgerald-Butt, S., Geneviève, D. and 30 moreDe Boer, E., Ockeloen, C. W., Kampen, R. A., Hampstead, J. E., Dingemans, A. J. M., Rots, D., Lütje, L., Ashraf, T., Baker, R., Barat-Houari, M., Angle, B., Chatron, N., Denommé-Pichon, A.-S., Devinsky, O., Dubourg, C., Elmslie, F., Elloumi, H. Z., Faivre, L., Fitzgerald-Butt, S., Geneviève, D., Goos, J. A. C., Helm, B. M., Kini, U., Lasa-Aranzasti, A., Lesca, G., Lynch, S. A., Mathijssen, I. M. J., McGowan, R., Monaghan, K. G., Odent, S., Pfundt, R., Putoux, A., Van Reeuwijk, J., Santen, G. W. E., Sasaki, E., Sorlin, A., Van der Spek, P. J., Stegmann, A. P. A., Swagemakers, S. M. A., Valenzuela, I., Viora-Dupont, E., Vitobello, A., Ware, S. M., Wéber, M., Gilissen, C., Low, K. J., Fisher, S. E., Vissers, L. E. L. M., Wong, M. M. K., & Kleefstra, T. (2022). Missense variants in ANKRD11 cause KBG syndrome by impairment of stability or transcriptional activity of the encoded protein. Genetics in Medicine, 24(10), 2051-2064. doi:10.1016/j.gim.2022.06.007.

    Abstract

    Purpose

    Although haploinsufficiency of ANKRD11 is among the most common genetic causes of neurodevelopmental disorders, the role of rare ANKRD11 missense variation remains unclear. We characterized clinical, molecular, and functional spectra of ANKRD11 missense variants.
    Methods

    We collected clinical information of individuals with ANKRD11 missense variants and evaluated phenotypic fit to KBG syndrome. We assessed pathogenicity of variants through in silico analyses and cell-based experiments.
    Results

    We identified 20 unique, mostly de novo, ANKRD11 missense variants in 29 individuals, presenting with syndromic neurodevelopmental disorders similar to KBG syndrome caused by ANKRD11 protein truncating variants or 16q24.3 microdeletions. Missense variants significantly clustered in repression domain 2 at the ANKRD11 C-terminus. Of the 10 functionally studied missense variants, 6 reduced ANKRD11 stability. One variant caused decreased proteasome degradation and loss of ANKRD11 transcriptional activity.
    Conclusion

    Our study indicates that pathogenic heterozygous ANKRD11 missense variants cause the clinically recognizable KBG syndrome. Disrupted transrepression capacity and reduced protein stability each independently lead to ANKRD11 loss-of-function, consistent with haploinsufficiency. This highlights the diagnostic relevance of ANKRD11 missense variants, but also poses diagnostic challenges because the KBG-associated phenotype may be mild and inherited pathogenic ANKRD11 (missense) variants are increasingly observed, warranting stringent variant classification and careful phenotyping.
  • Boyce, J. O., Jackson, V. E., Van Reyk, O., Parker, R., Vogel, A. P., Eising, E., Horton, S. E., Gillespie, N. A., Scheffer, I. E., Amor, D. J., Hildebrand, M. S., Fisher, S. E., Martin, N. G., Reilly, S., Bahlo, M., & Morgan, A. T. (2022). Self-reported impact of developmental stuttering across the lifespan. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 64(10), 1297-1306. doi:10.1111/dmcn.15211.

    Abstract

    Aim

    To examine the phenomenology of stuttering across the lifespan in the largest prospective cohort to date.
    Method

    Participants aged 7 years and older with a history of developmental stuttering were recruited. Self-reported phenotypic data were collected online including stuttering symptomatology, co-occurring phenotypes, genetic predisposition, factors associated with stuttering severity, and impact on anxiety, education, and employment.
    Results

    A total of 987 participants (852 adults: 590 males, 262 females, mean age 49 years [SD = 17 years 10 months; range = 18–93 years] and 135 children: 97 males, 38 females, mean age 11 years 4 months [SD = 3 years; range = 7–17 years]) were recruited. Stuttering onset occurred at age 3 to 6 years in 64.0%. Blocking (73.2%) was the most frequent phenotype; 75.9% had sought stuttering therapy and 15.5% identified as having recovered. Half (49.9%) reported a family history. There was a significant negative correlation with age for both stuttering frequency and severity in adults. Most were anxious due to stuttering (90.4%) and perceived stuttering as a barrier to education and employment outcomes (80.7%).
    Interpretation

    The frequent persistence of stuttering and the high proportion with a family history suggest that stuttering is a complex trait that does not often resolve, even with therapy. These data provide new insights into the phenotype and prognosis of stuttering, information that is critically needed to encourage the development of more effective speech therapies.
  • Brouwer, R. M., Klein, M., Grasby, K. L., Schnack, H. G., Jahanshad, N., Teeuw, J., Thomopoulos, S. I., Sprooten, E., Franz, C. E., Gogtay, N., Kremen, W. S., Panizzon, M. S., Olde Loohuis, L. M., Whelan, C. D., Aghajani, M., Alloza, C., Alnæs, D., Artiges, E., Ayesa-Arriola, R., Barker, G. J. and 180 moreBrouwer, R. M., Klein, M., Grasby, K. L., Schnack, H. G., Jahanshad, N., Teeuw, J., Thomopoulos, S. I., Sprooten, E., Franz, C. E., Gogtay, N., Kremen, W. S., Panizzon, M. S., Olde Loohuis, L. M., Whelan, C. D., Aghajani, M., Alloza, C., Alnæs, D., Artiges, E., Ayesa-Arriola, R., Barker, G. J., Bastin, M. E., Blok, E., Bøen, E., Breukelaar, I. A., Bright, J. K., Buimer, E. E. L., Bülow, R., Cannon, D. M., Ciufolini, S., Crossley, N. A., Damatac, C. G., Dazzan, P., De Mol, C. L., De Zwarte, S. M. C., Desrivières, S., Díaz-Caneja, C. M., Doan, N. T., Dohm, K., Fröhner, J. H., Goltermann, J., Grigis, A., Grotegerd, D., Han, L. K. M., Harris, M. A., Hartman, C. A., Heany, S. J., Heindel, W., Heslenfeld, D. J., Hohmann, S., Ittermann, B., Jansen, P. R., Janssen, J., Jia, T., Jiang, J., Jockwitz, C., Karali, T., Keeser, D., Koevoets, M. G. J. C., Lenroot, R. K., Malchow, B., Mandl, R. C. W., Medel, V., Meinert, S., Morgan, C. A., Mühleisen, T. W., Nabulsi, L., Opel, N., Ortiz-García de la Foz, V., Overs, B. J., Paillère Martinot, M.-L., Redlich, R., Marques, T. R., Repple, J., Roberts, G., Roshchupkin, G. V., Setiaman, N., Shumskaya, E., Stein, F., Sudre, G., Takahashi, S., Thalamuthu, A., Tordesillas-Gutiérrez, D., Van der Lugt, A., Van Haren, N. E. M., Wardlaw, J. M., Wen, W., Westeneng, H.-J., Wittfeld, K., Zhu, A. H., Zugman, A., Armstrong, N. J., Bonfiglio, G., Bralten, J., Dalvie, S., Davies, G., Di Forti, M., Ding, L., Donohoe, G., Forstner, A. J., Gonzalez-Peñas, J., Guimaraes, J. P. O. F. T., Homuth, G., Hottenga, J.-J., Knol, M. J., Kwok, J. B. J., Le Hellard, S., Mather, K. A., Milaneschi, Y., Morris, D. W., Nöthen, M. M., Papiol, S., Rietschel, M., Santoro, M. L., Steen, V. M., Stein, J. L., Streit, F., Tankard, R. M., Teumer, A., Van 't Ent, D., Van der Meer, D., Van Eijk, K. R., Vassos, E., Vázquez-Bourgon, J., Witt, S. H., the IMAGEN Consortium, Adams, H. H. H., Agartz, I., Ames, D., Amunts, K., Andreassen, O. A., Arango, C., Banaschewski, T., Baune, B. T., Belangero, S. I., Bokde, A. L. W., Boomsma, D. I., Bressan, R. A., Brodaty, H., Buitelaar, J. K., Cahn, W., Caspers, S., Cichon, S., Crespo Facorro, B., Cox, S. R., Dannlowski, U., Elvsåshagen, T., Espeseth, T., Falkai, P. G., Fisher, S. E., Flor, H., Fullerton, J. M., Garavan, H., Gowland, P. A., Grabe, H. J., Hahn, T., Heinz, A., Hillegers, M., Hoare, J., Hoekstra, P. J., Ikram, M. A., Jackowski, A. P., Jansen, A., Jönsson, E. G., Kahn, R. S., Kircher, T., Korgaonkar, M. S., Krug, A., Lemaitre, H., Malt, U. F., Martinot, J.-L., McDonald, C., Mitchell, P. B., Muetzel, R. L., Murray, R. M., Nees, F., Nenadic, I., Oosterlaan, J., Ophoff, R. A., Pan, P. M., Penninx, B. W. J. H., Poustka, L., Sachdev, P. S., Salum, G. A., Schofield, P. R., Schumann, G., Shaw, P., Sim, K., Smolka, M. N., Stein, D. J., Trollor, J., Van den Berg, L. H., Veldink, J. H., Walter, H., Westlye, L. T., Whelan, R., White, T., Wright, M. J., Medland, S. E., Franke, B., Thompson, P. M., & Hulshoff Pol, H. E. (2022). Genetic variants associated with longitudinal changes in brain structure across the lifespan. Nature Neuroscience, 25, 421-432. doi:10.1038/s41593-022-01042-4.

    Abstract

    Human brain structure changes throughout the lifespan. Altered brain growth or rates of decline are implicated in a vast range of psychiatric, developmental and neurodegenerative diseases. In this study, we identified common genetic variants that affect rates of brain growth or atrophy in what is, to our knowledge, the first genome-wide association meta-analysis of changes in brain morphology across the lifespan. Longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging data from 15,640 individuals were used to compute rates of change for 15 brain structures. The most robustly identified genes GPR139, DACH1 and APOE are associated with metabolic processes. We demonstrate global genetic overlap with depression, schizophrenia, cognitive functioning, insomnia, height, body mass index and smoking. Gene set findings implicate both early brain development and neurodegenerative processes in the rates of brain changes. Identifying variants involved in structural brain changes may help to determine biological pathways underlying optimal and dysfunctional brain development and aging.
  • Chormai, P., Pu, Y., Hu, H., Fisher, S. E., Francks, C., & Kong, X. (2022). Machine learning of large-scale multimodal brain imaging data reveals neural correlates of hand preference. NeuroImage, 262: 119534. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2022.119534.

    Abstract

    Lateralization is a fundamental characteristic of many behaviors and the organization of the brain, and atypical lateralization has been suggested to be linked to various brain-related disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. Right-handedness is one of the most prominent markers of human behavioural lateralization, yet its neurobiological basis remains to be determined. Here, we present a large-scale analysis of handedness, as measured by self-reported direction of hand preference, and its variability related to brain structural and functional organization in the UK Biobank (N = 36,024). A multivariate machine learning approach with multi-modalities of brain imaging data was adopted, to reveal how well brain imaging features could predict individual's handedness (i.e., right-handedness vs. non-right-handedness) and further identify the top brain signatures that contributed to the prediction. Overall, the results showed a good prediction performance, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) score of up to 0.72, driven largely by resting-state functional measures. Virtual lesion analysis and large-scale decoding analysis suggested that the brain networks with the highest importance in the prediction showed functional relevance to hand movement and several higher-level cognitive functions including language, arithmetic, and social interaction. Genetic analyses of contributions of common DNA polymorphisms to the imaging-derived handedness prediction score showed a significant heritability (h2=7.55%, p <0.001) that was similar to and slightly higher than that for the behavioural measure itself (h2=6.74%, p <0.001). The genetic correlation between the two was high (rg=0.71), suggesting that the imaging-derived score could be used as a surrogate in genetic studies where the behavioural measure is not available. This large-scale study using multimodal brain imaging and multivariate machine learning has shed new light on the neural correlates of human handedness.

    Additional information

    supplementary material
  • Dima, D., Modabbernia, A., Papachristou, E., Doucet, G. E., Agartz, I., Aghajani, M., Akudjedu, T. N., Albajes‐Eizagirre, A., Alnæs, D., Alpert, K. I., Andersson, M., Andreasen, N. C., Andreassen, O. A., Asherson, P., Banaschewski, T., Bargallo, N., Baumeister, S., Baur‐Streubel, R., Bertolino, A., Bonvino, A. and 182 moreDima, D., Modabbernia, A., Papachristou, E., Doucet, G. E., Agartz, I., Aghajani, M., Akudjedu, T. N., Albajes‐Eizagirre, A., Alnæs, D., Alpert, K. I., Andersson, M., Andreasen, N. C., Andreassen, O. A., Asherson, P., Banaschewski, T., Bargallo, N., Baumeister, S., Baur‐Streubel, R., Bertolino, A., Bonvino, A., Boomsma, D. I., Borgwardt, S., Bourque, J., Brandeis, D., Breier, A., Brodaty, H., Brouwer, R. M., Buitelaar, J. K., Busatto, G. F., Buckner, R. L., Calhoun, V., Canales‐Rodríguez, E. J., Cannon, D. M., Caseras, X., Castellanos, F. X., Cervenka, S., Chaim‐Avancini, T. M., Ching, C. R. K., Chubar, V., Clark, V. P., Conrod, P., Conzelmann, A., Crespo‐Facorro, B., Crivello, F., Crone, E. A., Dale, A. M., Davey, C., De Geus, E. J. C., De Haan, L., De Zubicaray, G. I., Den Braber, A., Dickie, E. W., Di Giorgio, A., Doan, N. T., Dørum, E. S., Ehrlich, S., Erk, S., Espeseth, T., Fatouros‐Bergman, H., Fisher, S. E., Fouche, J., Franke, B., Frodl, T., Fuentes‐Claramonte, P., Glahn, D. C., Gotlib, I. H., Grabe, H., Grimm, O., Groenewold, N. A., Grotegerd, D., Gruber, O., Gruner, P., Gur, R. E., Gur, R. C., Harrison, B. J., Hartman, C. A., Hatton, S. N., Heinz, A., Heslenfeld, D. J., Hibar, D. P., Hickie, I. B., Ho, B., Hoekstra, P. J., Hohmann, S., Holmes, A. J., Hoogman, M., Hosten, N., Howells, F. M., Hulshoff Pol, H. E., Huyser, C., Jahanshad, N., James, A., Jernigan, T. L., Jiang, J., Jönsson, E. G., Joska, J. A., Kahn, R., Kalnin, A., Kanai, R., Klein, M., Klyushnik, T. P., Koenders, L., Koops, S., Krämer, B., Kuntsi, J., Lagopoulos, J., Lázaro, L., Lebedeva, I., Lee, W. H., Lesch, K., Lochner, C., Machielsen, M. W. J., Maingault, S., Martin, N. G., Martínez‐Zalacaín, I., Mataix‐Cols, D., Mazoyer, B., McDonald, C., McDonald, B. C., McIntosh, A. M., McMahon, K. L., McPhilemy, G., Menchón, J. M., Medland, S. E., Meyer‐Lindenberg, A., Naaijen, J., Najt, P., Nakao, T., Nordvik, J. E., Nyberg, L., Oosterlaan, J., Ortiz‐García de la Foz, V., Paloyelis, Y., Pauli, P., Pergola, G., Pomarol‐Clotet, E., Portella, M. J., Potkin, S. G., Radua, J., Reif, A., Rinker, D. A., Roffman, J. L., Rosa, P. G. P., Sacchet, M. D., Sachdev, P. S., Salvador, R., Sánchez‐Juan, P., Sarró, S., Satterthwaite, T. D., Saykin, A. J., Serpa, M. H., Schmaal, L., Schnell, K., Schumann, G., Sim, K., Smoller, J. W., Sommer, I., Soriano‐Mas, C., Stein, D. J., Strike, L. T., Swagerman, S. C., Tamnes, C. K., Temmingh, H. S., Thomopoulos, S. I., Tomyshev, A. S., Tordesillas‐Gutiérrez, D., Trollor, J. N., Turner, J. A., Uhlmann, A., Van den Heuvel, O. A., Van den Meer, D., Van der Wee, N. J. A., Van Haren, N. E. M., Van't Ent, D., Van Erp, T. G. M., Veer, I. M., Veltman, D. J., Voineskos, A., Völzke, H., Walter, H., Walton, E., Wang, L., Wang, Y., Wassink, T. H., Weber, B., Wen, W., West, J. D., Westlye, L. T., Whalley, H., Wierenga, L. M., Williams, S. C. R., Wittfeld, K., Wolf, D. H., Worker, A., Wright, M. J., Yang, K., Yoncheva, Y., Zanetti, M. V., Ziegler, G. C., Thompson, P. M., Frangou, S., & Karolinska Schizophrenia Project (KaSP) (2022). Subcortical volumes across the lifespan: Data from 18,605 healthy individuals aged 3–90 years. Human Brain Mapping, 43(1), 452-469. doi:10.1002/hbm.25320.

    Abstract

    Age has a major effect on brain volume. However, the normative studies available are constrained by small sample sizes, restricted age coverage and significant methodological variability. These limitations introduce inconsistencies and may obscure or distort the lifespan trajectories of brain morphometry. In response, we capitalized on the resources of the Enhancing Neuroimaging Genetics through Meta‐Analysis (ENIGMA) Consortium to examine age‐related trajectories inferred from cross‐sectional measures of the ventricles, the basal ganglia (caudate, putamen, pallidum, and nucleus accumbens), the thalamus, hippocampus and amygdala using magnetic resonance imaging data obtained from 18,605 individuals aged 3–90 years. All subcortical structure volumes were at their maximum value early in life. The volume of the basal ganglia showed a monotonic negative association with age thereafter; there was no significant association between age and the volumes of the thalamus, amygdala and the hippocampus (with some degree of decline in thalamus) until the sixth decade of life after which they also showed a steep negative association with age. The lateral ventricles showed continuous enlargement throughout the lifespan. Age was positively associated with inter‐individual variability in the hippocampus and amygdala and the lateral ventricles. These results were robust to potential confounders and could be used to examine the functional significance of deviations from typical age‐related morphometric patterns.
  • Doust, C., Fontanillas, P., Eising, E., Gordon, S. D., Wang, Z., Alagöz, G., Molz, B., 23andMe Research Team, Quantitative Trait Working Group of the GenLang Consortium, St Pourcain, B., Francks, C., Marioni, R. E., Zhao, J., Paracchini, S., Talcott, J. B., Monaco, A. P., Stein, J. F., Gruen, J. R., Olson, R. K., Willcutt, E. G., DeFries, J. C., Pennington, B. F. and 7 moreDoust, C., Fontanillas, P., Eising, E., Gordon, S. D., Wang, Z., Alagöz, G., Molz, B., 23andMe Research Team, Quantitative Trait Working Group of the GenLang Consortium, St Pourcain, B., Francks, C., Marioni, R. E., Zhao, J., Paracchini, S., Talcott, J. B., Monaco, A. P., Stein, J. F., Gruen, J. R., Olson, R. K., Willcutt, E. G., DeFries, J. C., Pennington, B. F., Smith, S. D., Wright, M. J., Martin, N. G., Auton, A., Bates, T. C., Fisher, S. E., & Luciano, M. (2022). Discovery of 42 genome-wide significant loci associated with dyslexia. Nature Genetics. doi:10.1038/s41588-022-01192-y.

    Abstract

    Reading and writing are crucial life skills but roughly one in ten children are affected by dyslexia, which can persist into adulthood. Family studies of dyslexia suggest heritability up to 70%, yet few convincing genetic markers have been found. Here we performed a genome-wide association study of 51,800 adults self-reporting a dyslexia diagnosis and 1,087,070 controls and identified 42 independent genome-wide significant loci: 15 in genes linked to cognitive ability/educational attainment, and 27 new and potentially more specific to dyslexia. We validated 23 loci (13 new) in independent cohorts of Chinese and European ancestry. Genetic etiology of dyslexia was similar between sexes, and genetic covariance with many traits was found, including ambidexterity, but not neuroanatomical measures of language-related circuitry. Dyslexia polygenic scores explained up to 6% of variance in reading traits, and might in future contribute to earlier identification and remediation of dyslexia.
  • Eising, E., Mirza-Schreiber, N., De Zeeuw, E. L., Wang, C. A., Truong, D. T., Allegrini, A. G., Shapland, C. Y., Zhu, G., Wigg, K. G., Gerritse, M., Molz, B., Alagöz, G., Gialluisi, A., Abbondanza, F., Rimfeld, K., Van Donkelaar, M. M. J., Liao, Z., Jansen, P. R., Andlauer, T. F. M., Bates, T. C. and 70 moreEising, E., Mirza-Schreiber, N., De Zeeuw, E. L., Wang, C. A., Truong, D. T., Allegrini, A. G., Shapland, C. Y., Zhu, G., Wigg, K. G., Gerritse, M., Molz, B., Alagöz, G., Gialluisi, A., Abbondanza, F., Rimfeld, K., Van Donkelaar, M. M. J., Liao, Z., Jansen, P. R., Andlauer, T. F. M., Bates, T. C., Bernard, M., Blokland, K., Børglum, A. D., Bourgeron, T., Brandeis, D., Ceroni, F., Dale, P. S., Landerl, K., Lyytinen, H., De Jong, P. F., DeFries, J. C., Demontis, D., Feng, Y., Gordon, S. D., Guger, S. L., Hayiou-Thomas, M. E., Hernández-Cabrera, J. A., Hottenga, J.-J., Hulme, C., Kerr, E. N., Koomar, T., Lovett, M. W., Martin, N. G., Martinelli, A., Maurer, U., Michaelson, J. J., Moll, K., Monaco, A. P., Morgan, A. T., Nöthen, M. M., Pausova, Z., Pennell, C. E., Pennington, B. F., Price, K. M., Rajagopal, V. M., Ramus, F., Richer, L., Simpson, N. H., Smith, S., Snowling, M. J., Stein, J., Strug, L. J., Talcott, J. B., Tiemeier, H., Van de Schroeff, M. M. P., Verhoef, E., Watkins, K. E., Wilkinson, M., Wright, M. J., Barr, C. L., Boomsma, D. I., Carreiras, M., Franken, M.-C.-J., Gruen, J. R., Luciano, M., Müller-Myhsok, B., Newbury, D. F., Olson, R. K., Paracchini, S., Paus, T., Plomin, R., Schulte-Körne, G., Reilly, S., Tomblin, J. B., Van Bergen, E., Whitehouse, A. J., Willcutt, E. G., St Pourcain, B., Francks, C., & Fisher, S. E. (2022). Genome-wide analyses of individual differences in quantitatively assessed reading- and language-related skills in up to 34,000 people. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119(35): e2202764119. doi:10.1073/pnas.2202764119.

    Abstract

    The use of spoken and written language is a fundamental human capacity. Individual differences in reading- and language-related skills are influenced by genetic variation, with twin-based heritability estimates of 30 to 80% depending on the trait. The genetic architecture is complex, heterogeneous, and multifactorial, but investigations of contributions of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were thus far underpowered. We present a multicohort genome-wide association study (GWAS) of five traits assessed individually using psychometric measures (word reading, nonword reading, spelling, phoneme awareness, and nonword repetition) in samples of 13,633 to 33,959 participants aged 5 to 26 y. We identified genome-wide significant association with word reading (rs11208009, P = 1.098 × 10−8) at a locus that has not been associated with intelligence or educational attainment. All five reading-/language-related traits showed robust SNP heritability, accounting for 13 to 26% of trait variability. Genomic structural equation modeling revealed a shared genetic factor explaining most of the variation in word/nonword reading, spelling, and phoneme awareness, which only partially overlapped with genetic variation contributing to nonword repetition, intelligence, and educational attainment. A multivariate GWAS of word/nonword reading, spelling, and phoneme awareness maximized power for follow-up investigation. Genetic correlation analysis with neuroimaging traits identified an association with the surface area of the banks of the left superior temporal sulcus, a brain region linked to the processing of spoken and written language. Heritability was enriched for genomic elements regulating gene expression in the fetal brain and in chromosomal regions that are depleted of Neanderthal variants. Together, these results provide avenues for deciphering the biological underpinnings of uniquely human traits.
  • Frangou, S., Modabbernia, A., Williams, S. C. R., Papachristou, E., Doucet, G. E., Agartz, I., Aghajani, M., Akudjedu, T. N., Albajes‐Eizagirre, A., Alnæs, D., Alpert, K. I., Andersson, M., Andreasen, N. C., Andreassen, O. A., Asherson, P., Banaschewski, T., Bargallo, N., Baumeister, S., Baur‐Streubel, R., Bertolino, A. and 181 moreFrangou, S., Modabbernia, A., Williams, S. C. R., Papachristou, E., Doucet, G. E., Agartz, I., Aghajani, M., Akudjedu, T. N., Albajes‐Eizagirre, A., Alnæs, D., Alpert, K. I., Andersson, M., Andreasen, N. C., Andreassen, O. A., Asherson, P., Banaschewski, T., Bargallo, N., Baumeister, S., Baur‐Streubel, R., Bertolino, A., Bonvino, A., Boomsma, D. I., Borgwardt, S., Bourque, J., Brandeis, D., Breier, A., Brodaty, H., Brouwer, R. M., Buitelaar, J. K., Busatto, G. F., Buckner, R. L., Calhoun, V., Canales‐Rodríguez, E. J., Cannon, D. M., Caseras, X., Castellanos, F. X., Cervenka, S., Chaim‐Avancini, T. M., Ching, C. R. K., Chubar, V., Clark, V. P., Conrod, P., Conzelmann, A., Crespo‐Facorro, B., Crivello, F., Crone, E. A., Dale, A. M., Davey, C., De Geus, E. J. C., De Haan, L., De Zubicaray, G. I., Den Braber, A., Dickie, E. W., Di Giorgio, A., Doan, N. T., Dørum, E. S., Ehrlich, S., Erk, S., Espeseth, T., Fatouros‐Bergman, H., Fisher, S. E., Fouche, J., Franke, B., Frodl, T., Fuentes‐Claramonte, P., Glahn, D. C., Gotlib, I. H., Grabe, H., Grimm, O., Groenewold, N. A., Grotegerd, D., Gruber, O., Gruner, P., Gur, R. E., Gur, R. C., Harrison, B. J., Hartman, C. A., Hatton, S. N., Heinz, A., Heslenfeld, D. J., Hibar, D. P., Hickie, I. B., Ho, B., Hoekstra, P. J., Hohmann, S., Holmes, A. J., Hoogman, M., Hosten, N., Howells, F. M., Hulshoff Pol, H. E., Huyser, C., Jahanshad, N., James, A., Jernigan, T. L., Jiang, J., Jönsson, E. G., Joska, J. A., Kahn, R., Kalnin, A., Kanai, R., Klein, M., Klyushnik, T. P., Koenders, L., Koops, S., Krämer, B., Kuntsi, J., Lagopoulos, J., Lázaro, L., Lebedeva, I., Lee, W. H., Lesch, K., Lochner, C., Machielsen, M. W. J., Maingault, S., Martin, N. G., Martínez‐Zalacaín, I., Mataix‐Cols, D., Mazoyer, B., McDonald, C., McDonald, B. C., McIntosh, A. M., McMahon, K. L., McPhilemy, G., Menchón, J. M., Medland, S. E., Meyer‐Lindenberg, A., Naaijen, J., Najt, P., Nakao, T., Nordvik, J. E., Nyberg, L., Oosterlaan, J., Ortiz‐García Foz, V., Paloyelis, Y., Pauli, P., Pergola, G., Pomarol‐Clotet, E., Portella, M. J., Potkin, S. G., Radua, J., Reif, A., Rinker, D. A., Roffman, J. L., Rosa, P. G. P., Sacchet, M. D., Sachdev, P. S., Salvador, R., Sánchez‐Juan, P., Sarró, S., Satterthwaite, T. D., Saykin, A. J., Serpa, M. H., Schmaal, L., Schnell, K., Schumann, G., Sim, K., Smoller, J. W., Sommer, I., Soriano‐Mas, C., Stein, D. J., Strike, L. T., Swagerman, S. C., Tamnes, C. K., Temmingh, H. S., Thomopoulos, S. I., Tomyshev, A. S., Tordesillas‐Gutiérrez, D., Trollor, J. N., Turner, J. A., Uhlmann, A., Van den Heuvel, O. A., Van den Meer, D., Van der Wee, N. J. A., Van Haren, N. E. M., Van 't Ent, D., Van Erp, T. G. M., Veer, I. M., Veltman, D. J., Voineskos, A., Völzke, H., Walter, H., Walton, E., Wang, L., Wang, Y., Wassink, T. H., Weber, B., Wen, W., West, J. D., Westlye, L. T., Whalley, H., Wierenga, L. M., Wittfeld, K., Wolf, D. H., Worker, A., Wright, M. J., Yang, K., Yoncheva, Y., Zanetti, M. V., Ziegler, G. C., Karolinska Schizophrenia Project (KaSP), Thompson, P. M., & Dima, D. (2022). Cortical thickness across the lifespan: Data from 17,075 healthy individuals aged 3–90 years. Human Brain Mapping, 43(1), 431-451. doi:10.1002/hbm.25364.

    Abstract

    Delineating the association of age and cortical thickness in healthy individuals is critical given the association of cortical thickness with cognition and behavior. Previous research has shown that robust estimates of the association between age and brain morphometry require large‐scale studies. In response, we used cross‐sectional data from 17,075 individuals aged 3–90 years from the Enhancing Neuroimaging Genetics through Meta‐Analysis (ENIGMA) Consortium to infer age‐related changes in cortical thickness. We used fractional polynomial (FP) regression to quantify the association between age and cortical thickness, and we computed normalized growth centiles using the parametric Lambda, Mu, and Sigma method. Interindividual variability was estimated using meta‐analysis and one‐way analysis of variance. For most regions, their highest cortical thickness value was observed in childhood. Age and cortical thickness showed a negative association; the slope was steeper up to the third decade of life and more gradual thereafter; notable exceptions to this general pattern were entorhinal, temporopolar, and anterior cingulate cortices. Interindividual variability was largest in temporal and frontal regions across the lifespan. Age and its FP combinations explained up to 59% variance in cortical thickness. These results may form the basis of further investigation on normative deviation in cortical thickness and its significance for behavioral and cognitive outcomes.
  • Guadalupe, T., Kong, X., Akkermans, S. E. A., Fisher, S. E., & Francks, C. (2022). Relations between hemispheric asymmetries of grey matter and auditory processing of spoken syllables in 281 healthy adults. Brain Structure & Function, 227, 561-572. 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.

    Additional information

    supplementary information
  • Kong, X., ENIGMA Laterality Working Group, & Francks, C. (2022). Reproducibility in the absence of selective reporting: An illustration from large‐scale brain asymmetry research. Human Brain Mapping, 43(1), 244-254. 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.
  • 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. (2022). Mapping brain asymmetry in health and disease through the ENIGMA consortium. Human Brain Mapping, 43(1), 167-181. 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.
  • Nayak, S., Coleman, P. L., Ladányi, E., Nitin, R., Gustavson, D. E., Fisher, S. E., Magne, C. L., & Gordon, R. L. (2022). The Musical Abilities, Pleiotropy, Language, and Environment (MAPLE) framework for understanding musicality-language links across the lifespan. Neurobiology of Language, 3(4), 615-664. doi:10.1162/nol_a_00079.

    Abstract

    Using individual differences approaches, a growing body of literature finds positive associations between musicality and language-related abilities, complementing prior findings of links between musical training and language skills. Despite these associations, musicality has been often overlooked in mainstream models of individual differences in language acquisition and development. To better understand the biological basis of these individual differences, we propose the Musical Abilities, Pleiotropy, Language, and Environment (MAPLE) framework. This novel integrative framework posits that musical and language-related abilities likely share some common genetic architecture (i.e., genetic pleiotropy) in addition to some degree of overlapping neural endophenotypes, and genetic influences on musically and linguistically enriched environments. Drawing upon recent advances in genomic methodologies for unraveling pleiotropy, we outline testable predictions for future research on language development and how its underlying neurobiological substrates may be supported by genetic pleiotropy with musicality. In support of the MAPLE framework, we review and discuss findings from over seventy behavioral and neural studies, highlighting that musicality is robustly associated with individual differences in a range of speech-language skills required for communication and development. These include speech perception-in-noise, prosodic perception, morphosyntactic skills, phonological skills, reading skills, and aspects of second/foreign language learning. Overall, the current work provides a clear agenda and framework for studying musicality-language links using individual differences approaches, with an emphasis on leveraging advances in the genomics of complex musicality and language traits.
  • Park, B.-y., Larivière, S., Rodríguez-Cruces, R., Royer, J., Tavakol, S., Wang, Y., Caciagli, L., Caligiuri, M. E., Gambardella, A., Concha, L., Keller, S. S., Cendes, F., Alvim, M. K. M., Yasuda, C., Bonilha, L., Gleichgerrcht, E., Focke, N. K., Kreilkamp, B. A. K., Domin, M., Von Podewils, F. and 66 morePark, B.-y., Larivière, S., Rodríguez-Cruces, R., Royer, J., Tavakol, S., Wang, Y., Caciagli, L., Caligiuri, M. E., Gambardella, A., Concha, L., Keller, S. S., Cendes, F., Alvim, M. K. M., Yasuda, C., Bonilha, L., Gleichgerrcht, E., Focke, N. K., Kreilkamp, B. A. K., Domin, M., Von Podewils, F., Langner, S., Rummel, C., Rebsamen, M., Wiest, R., Martin, P., Kotikalapudi, R., Bender, B., O’Brien, T. J., Law, M., Sinclair, B., Vivash, L., Desmond, P. M., Malpas, C. B., Lui, E., Alhusaini, S., Doherty, C. P., Cavalleri, G. L., Delanty, N., Kälviäinen, R., Jackson, G. D., Kowalczyk, M., Mascalchi, M., Semmelroch, M., Thomas, R. H., Soltanian-Zadeh, H., Davoodi-Bojd, E., Zhang, J., Lenge, M., Guerrini, R., Bartolini, E., Hamandi, K., Foley, S., Weber, B., Depondt, C., Absil, J., Carr, S. J. A., Abela, E., Richardson, M. P., Devinsky, O., Severino, M., Striano, P., Parodi, C., Tortora, D., Hatton, S. N., Vos, S. B., Duncan, J. S., Galovic, M., Whelan, C. D., Bargalló, N., Pariente, J., Conde, E., Vaudano, A. E., Tondelli, M., Meletti, S., Kong, X., Francks, C., Fisher, S. E., Caldairou, B., Ryten, M., Labate, A., Sisodiya, S. M., Thompson, P. M., McDonald, C. R., Bernasconi, A., Bernasconi, N., & Bernhardt, B. C. (2022). Topographic divergence of atypical cortical asymmetry and atrophy patterns in temporal lobe epilepsy. Brain, 145(4), 1285-1298. doi:10.1093/brain/awab417.

    Abstract

    Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), a common drug-resistant epilepsy in adults, is primarily a limbic network disorder associated with predominant unilateral hippocampal pathology. Structural MRI has provided an in vivo window into whole-brain grey matter structural alterations in TLE relative to controls, by either mapping (i) atypical inter-hemispheric asymmetry or (ii) regional atrophy. However, similarities and differences of both atypical asymmetry and regional atrophy measures have not been systematically investigated.

    Here, we addressed this gap using the multi-site ENIGMA-Epilepsy dataset comprising MRI brain morphological measures in 732 TLE patients and 1,418 healthy controls. We compared spatial distributions of grey matter asymmetry and atrophy in TLE, contextualized their topographies relative to spatial gradients in cortical microstructure and functional connectivity calculated using 207 healthy controls obtained from Human Connectome Project and an independent dataset containing 23 TLE patients and 53 healthy controls, and examined clinical associations using machine learning.

    We identified a marked divergence in the spatial distribution of atypical inter-hemispheric asymmetry and regional atrophy mapping. The former revealed a temporo-limbic disease signature while the latter showed diffuse and bilateral patterns. Our findings were robust across individual sites and patients. Cortical atrophy was significantly correlated with disease duration and age at seizure onset, while degrees of asymmetry did not show a significant relationship to these clinical variables.

    Our findings highlight that the mapping of atypical inter-hemispheric asymmetry and regional atrophy tap into two complementary aspects of TLE-related pathology, with the former revealing primary substrates in ipsilateral limbic circuits and the latter capturing bilateral disease effects. These findings refine our notion of the neuropathology of TLE and may inform future discovery and validation of complementary MRI biomarkers in TLE.

    Additional information

    awab417_supplementary_data.pdf
  • Price, K. M., Wigg, K. G., Eising, E., Feng, Y., Blokland, K., Wilkinson, M., Kerr, E. N., Guger, S. L., Quantitative Trait Working Group of the GenLang Consortium, Fisher, S. E., Lovett, M. W., Strug, L. J., & Barr, C. L. (2022). Hypothesis-driven genome-wide association studies provide novel insights into genetics of reading disabilities. Translational Psychiatry, 12: 495. doi:10.1038/s41398-022-02250-z.

    Abstract

    Reading Disability (RD) is often characterized by difficulties in the phonology of the language. While the molecular mechanisms underlying it are largely undetermined, loci are being revealed by genome-wide association studies (GWAS). In a previous GWAS for word reading (Price, 2020), we observed that top single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were located near to or in genes involved in neuronal migration/axon guidance (NM/AG) or loci implicated in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A prominent theory of RD etiology posits that it involves disturbed neuronal migration, while potential links between RD-ASD have not been extensively investigated. To improve power to identify associated loci, we up-weighted variants involved in NM/AG or ASD, separately, and performed a new Hypothesis-Driven (HD)–GWAS. The approach was applied to a Toronto RD sample and a meta-analysis of the GenLang Consortium. For the Toronto sample (n = 624), no SNPs reached significance; however, by gene-set analysis, the joint contribution of ASD-related genes passed the threshold (p~1.45 × 10–2, threshold = 2.5 × 10–2). For the GenLang Cohort (n = 26,558), SNPs in DOCK7 and CDH4 showed significant association for the NM/AG hypothesis (sFDR q = 1.02 × 10–2). To make the GenLang dataset more similar to Toronto, we repeated the analysis restricting to samples selected for reading/language deficits (n = 4152). In this GenLang selected subset, we found significant association for a locus intergenic between BTG3-C21orf91 for both hypotheses (sFDR q < 9.00 × 10–4). This study contributes candidate loci to the genetics of word reading. Data also suggest that, although different variants may be involved, alleles implicated in ASD risk may be found in the same genes as those implicated in word reading. This finding is limited to the Toronto sample suggesting that ascertainment influences genetic associations.
  • Schlag, F., Allegrini, A. G., Buitelaar, J., Verhoef, E., Van Donkelaar, M. M. J., Plomin, R., Rimfeld, K., Fisher, S. E., & St Pourcain, B. (2022). Polygenic risk for mental disorder reveals distinct association profiles across social behaviour in the general population. Molecular Psychiatry, 27, 1588-1598. doi:10.1038/s41380-021-01419-0.

    Abstract

    Many mental health conditions present a spectrum of social difficulties that overlaps with social behaviour in the general population including shared but little characterised genetic links. Here, we systematically investigate heterogeneity in shared genetic liabilities with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorders (ASD), bipolar disorder (BP), major depression (MD) and schizophrenia across a spectrum of different social symptoms. Longitudinally assessed low-prosociality and peer-problem scores in two UK population-based cohorts (4–17 years; parent- and teacher-reports; Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children(ALSPAC): N ≤ 6,174; Twins Early Development Study(TEDS): N ≤ 7,112) were regressed on polygenic risk scores for disorder, as informed by genome-wide summary statistics from large consortia, using negative binomial regression models. Across ALSPAC and TEDS, we replicated univariate polygenic associations between social behaviour and risk for ADHD, MD and schizophrenia. Modelling variation in univariate genetic effects jointly using random-effect meta-regression revealed evidence for polygenic links between social behaviour and ADHD, ASD, MD, and schizophrenia risk, but not BP. Differences in age, reporter and social trait captured 45–88% in univariate effect variation. Cross-disorder adjusted analyses demonstrated that age-related heterogeneity in univariate effects is shared across mental health conditions, while reporter- and social trait-specific heterogeneity captures disorder-specific profiles. In particular, ADHD, MD, and ASD polygenic risk were more strongly linked to peer problems than low prosociality, while schizophrenia was associated with low prosociality only. The identified association profiles suggest differences in the social genetic architecture across mental disorders when investigating polygenic overlap with population-based social symptoms spanning 13 years of child and adolescent development.
  • Sha, Z., Van Rooij, D., Anagnostou, E., Arango, C., Auzias, G., Behrmann, M., Bernhardt, B., Bolte, S., Busatto, G. F., Calderoni, S., Calvo, R., Daly, E., Deruelle, C., Duan, M., Duran, F. L. S., Durston, S., Ecker, C., Ehrlich, S., Fair, D., Fedor, J. and 38 moreSha, Z., Van Rooij, D., Anagnostou, E., Arango, C., Auzias, G., Behrmann, M., Bernhardt, B., Bolte, S., Busatto, G. F., Calderoni, S., Calvo, R., Daly, E., Deruelle, C., Duan, M., Duran, F. L. S., Durston, S., Ecker, C., Ehrlich, S., Fair, D., Fedor, J., Fitzgerald, J., Floris, D. L., Franke, B., Freitag, C. M., Gallagher, L., Glahn, D. C., Haar, S., Hoekstra, L., Jahanshad, N., Jalbrzikowski, M., Janssen, J., King, J. A., Lazaro, L., Luna, B., McGrath, J., Medland, S. E., Muratori, F., Murphy, D. G., Neufeld, J., O’Hearn, K., Oranje, B., Parellada, M., Pariente, J. C., Postema, M., Remnelius, K. L., Retico, A., Rosa, P. G. P., Rubia, K., Shook, D., Tammimies, K., Taylor, M. J., Tosetti, M., Wallace, G. L., Zhou, F., Thompson, P. M., Fisher, S. E., Buitelaar, J. K., & Francks, C. (2022). Subtly altered topological asymmetry of brain structural covariance networks in autism spectrum disorder across 43 datasets from the ENIGMA consortium. Molecular Psychiatry, 27, 2114-2125. doi:10.1038/s41380-022-01452-7.

    Abstract

    Small average differences in the left-right asymmetry of cerebral cortical thickness have been reported in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) compared to typically developing controls, affecting widespread cortical regions. The possible impacts of these regional alterations in terms of structural network effects have not previously been characterized. Inter-regional morphological covariance analysis can capture network connectivity between different cortical areas at the macroscale level. Here, we used cortical thickness data from 1455 individuals with ASD and 1560 controls, across 43 independent datasets of the ENIGMA consortium’s ASD Working Group, to assess hemispheric asymmetries of intra-individual structural covariance networks, using graph theory-based topological metrics. Compared with typical features of small-world architecture in controls, the ASD sample showed significantly altered average asymmetry of networks involving the fusiform, rostral middle frontal, and medial orbitofrontal cortex, involving higher randomization of the corresponding right-hemispheric networks in ASD. A network involving the superior frontal cortex showed decreased right-hemisphere randomization. Based on comparisons with meta-analyzed functional neuroimaging data, the altered connectivity asymmetry particularly affected networks that subserve executive functions, language-related and sensorimotor processes. These findings provide a network-level characterization of altered left-right brain asymmetry in ASD, based on a large combined sample. Altered asymmetrical brain development in ASD may be partly propagated among spatially distant regions through structural connectivity.
  • Sønderby, I. E., Ching, C. R. K., Thomopoulos, S. I., Van der Meer, D., Sun, D., Villalon‐Reina, J. E., Agartz, I., Amunts, K., Arango, C., Armstrong, N. J., Ayesa‐Arriola, R., Bakker, G., Bassett, A. S., Boomsma, D. I., Bülow, R., Butcher, N. J., Calhoun, V. D., Caspers, S., Chow, E. W. C., Cichon, S. and 84 moreSønderby, I. E., Ching, C. R. K., Thomopoulos, S. I., Van der Meer, D., Sun, D., Villalon‐Reina, J. E., Agartz, I., Amunts, K., Arango, C., Armstrong, N. J., Ayesa‐Arriola, R., Bakker, G., Bassett, A. S., Boomsma, D. I., Bülow, R., Butcher, N. J., Calhoun, V. D., Caspers, S., Chow, E. W. C., Cichon, S., Ciufolini, S., Craig, M. C., Crespo‐Facorro, B., Cunningham, A. C., Dale, A. M., Dazzan, P., De Zubicaray, G. I., Djurovic, S., Doherty, J. L., Donohoe, G., Draganski, B., Durdle, C. A., Ehrlich, S., Emanuel, B. S., Espeseth, T., Fisher, S. E., Ge, T., Glahn, D. C., Grabe, H. J., Gur, R. E., Gutman, B. A., Haavik, J., Håberg, A. K., Hansen, L. A., Hashimoto, R., Hibar, D. P., Holmes, A. J., Hottenga, J., Hulshoff Pol, H. E., Jalbrzikowski, M., Knowles, E. E. M., Kushan, L., Linden, D. E. J., Liu, J., Lundervold, A. J., Martin‐Brevet, S., Martínez, K., Mather, K. A., Mathias, S. R., McDonald‐McGinn, D. M., McRae, A. F., Medland, S. E., Moberget, T., Modenato, C., Monereo Sánchez, J., Moreau, C. A., Mühleisen, T. W., Paus, T., Pausova, Z., Prieto, C., Ragothaman, A., Reinbold, C. S., Reis Marques, T., Repetto, G. M., Reymond, A., Roalf, D. R., Rodriguez‐Herreros, B., Rucker, J. J., Sachdev, P. S., Schmitt, J. E., Schofield, P. R., Silva, A. I., Stefansson, H., Stein, D. J., Tamnes, C. K., Tordesillas‐Gutiérrez, D., Ulfarsson, M. O., Vajdi, A., Van 't Ent, D., Van den Bree, M. B. M., Vassos, E., Vázquez‐Bourgon, J., Vila‐Rodriguez, F., Walters, G. B., Wen, W., Westlye, L. T., Wittfeld, K., Zackai, E. H., Stefánsson, K., Jacquemont, S., Thompson, P. M., Bearden, C. E., Andreassen, O. A., the ENIGMA-CNV Working Group, & the ENIGMA 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome Working Group (2022). Effects of copy number variations on brain structure and risk for psychiatric illness: Large‐scale studies from the ENIGMAworking groups on CNVs. Human Brain Mapping, 43(1), 300-328. doi:10.1002/hbm.25354.

    Abstract

    The Enhancing NeuroImaging Genetics through Meta‐Analysis copy number variant (ENIGMA‐CNV) and 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome Working Groups (22q‐ENIGMA WGs) were created to gain insight into the involvement of genetic factors in human brain development and related cognitive, psychiatric and behavioral manifestations. To that end, the ENIGMA‐CNV WG has collated CNV and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data from ~49,000 individuals across 38 global research sites, yielding one of the largest studies to date on the effects of CNVs on brain structures in the general population. The 22q‐ENIGMA WG includes 12 international research centers that assessed over 533 individuals with a confirmed 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, 40 with 22q11.2 duplications, and 333 typically developing controls, creating the largest‐ever 22q11.2 CNV neuroimaging data set. In this review, we outline the ENIGMA infrastructure and procedures for multi‐site analysis of CNVs and MRI data. So far, ENIGMA has identified effects of the 22q11.2, 16p11.2 distal, 15q11.2, and 1q21.1 distal CNVs on subcortical and cortical brain structures. Each CNV is associated with differences in cognitive, neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric traits, with characteristic patterns of brain structural abnormalities. Evidence of gene‐dosage effects on distinct brain regions also emerged, providing further insight into genotype–phenotype relationships. Taken together, these results offer a more comprehensive picture of molecular mechanisms involved in typical and atypical brain development. This “genotype‐first” approach also contributes to our understanding of the etiopathogenesis of brain disorders. Finally, we outline future directions to better understand effects of CNVs on brain structure and behavior.
  • Tielbeek, J. J., Uffelmann, E., Williams, B. S., Colodro-Conde, L., Gagnon, É., Mallard, T. T., Levitt, B., Jansen, P. R., Johansson, A., Sallis, H. M., Pistis, G., Saunders, G. R. B., Allegrini, A. G., Rimfeld, K., Konte, B., Klein, M., Hartmann, A. M., Salvatore, J. E., Nolte, I. M., Demontis, D. and 63 moreTielbeek, J. J., Uffelmann, E., Williams, B. S., Colodro-Conde, L., Gagnon, É., Mallard, T. T., Levitt, B., Jansen, P. R., Johansson, A., Sallis, H. M., Pistis, G., Saunders, G. R. B., Allegrini, A. G., Rimfeld, K., Konte, B., Klein, M., Hartmann, A. M., Salvatore, J. E., Nolte, I. M., Demontis, D., Malmberg, A., Burt, S. A., Savage, J., Sugden, K., Poulton, R., Harris, K. M., Vrieze, S., McGue, M., Iacono, W. G., Mota, N. R., Mill, J., Viana, J. F., Mitchell, B. L., Morosoli, J. J., Andlauer, T., Ouellet-Morin, I., Tremblay, R. E., Côté, S., Gouin, J.-P., Brendgen, M., Dionne, G., Vitaro, F., Lupton, M. K., Martin, N. G., COGA Consortium, Spit for Science Working Group, Castelao, E., Räikkönen, K., Eriksson, J., Lahti, J., Hartman, C. A., Oldehinkel, A. J., Snieder, H., Liu, H., Preisig, M., Whipp, A., Vuoksimaa, E., Lu, Y., Jern, P., Rujescu, D., Giegling, I., Palviainen, T., Kaprio, J., Harden, K. P., Munafò, M. R., Morneau-Vaillancourt, G., Plomin, R., Viding, E., Boutwell, B. B., Aliev, F., Dick, D., Popma, A., Faraone, S. V., Børglum, A. D., Medland, S. E., Franke, B., Boivin, M., Pingault, J.-B., Glennon, J. C., Barnes, J. C., Fisher, S. E., Moffitt, T. E., Caspi, A., Polderman, T. J., & Posthuma, D. (2022). Uncovering the genetic architecture of broad antisocial behavior through a genome-wide association study meta-analysis. Molecular Psychiatry, 27(11), 4453-4463. doi:10.1038/s41380-022-01793-3.

    Abstract

    Despite the substantial heritability of antisocial behavior (ASB), specific genetic variants robustly associated with the trait have not been identified. The present study by the Broad Antisocial Behavior Consortium (BroadABC) meta-analyzed data from 28 discovery samples (N = 85,359) and five independent replication samples (N = 8058) with genotypic data and broad measures of ASB. We identified the first significant genetic associations with broad ASB, involving common intronic variants in the forkhead box protein P2 (FOXP2) gene (lead SNP rs12536335, p = 6.32 × 10−10). Furthermore, we observed intronic variation in Foxp2 and one of its targets (Cntnap2) distinguishing a mouse model of pathological aggression (BALB/cJ strain) from controls (BALB/cByJ strain). Polygenic risk score (PRS) analyses in independent samples revealed that the genetic risk for ASB was associated with several antisocial outcomes across the lifespan, including diagnosis of conduct disorder, official criminal convictions, and trajectories of antisocial development. We found substantial genetic correlations of ASB with mental health (depression rg = 0.63, insomnia rg = 0.47), physical health (overweight rg = 0.19, waist-to-hip ratio rg = 0.32), smoking (rg = 0.54), cognitive ability (intelligence rg = −0.40), educational attainment (years of schooling rg = −0.46) and reproductive traits (age at first birth rg = −0.58, father’s age at death rg = −0.54). Our findings provide a starting point toward identifying critical biosocial risk mechanisms for the development of ASB.
  • Van der Spek, J., Den Hoed, J., Snijders Blok, L., Dingemans, A. J. M., Schijven, D., Nellaker, C., Venselaar, H., Astuti, G. D. N., Barakat, T. S., Bebin, E. M., Beck-Wödl, S., Beunders, G., Brown, N. J., Brunet, T., Brunner, H. G., Campeau, P. M., Čuturilo, G., Gilissen, C., Haack, T. B., Hüning, I. and 26 moreVan der Spek, J., Den Hoed, J., Snijders Blok, L., Dingemans, A. J. M., Schijven, D., Nellaker, C., Venselaar, H., Astuti, G. D. N., Barakat, T. S., Bebin, E. M., Beck-Wödl, S., Beunders, G., Brown, N. J., Brunet, T., Brunner, H. G., Campeau, P. M., Čuturilo, G., Gilissen, C., Haack, T. B., Hüning, I., Husain, R. A., Kamien, B., Lim, S. C., Lovrecic, L., Magg, J., Maver, A., Miranda, V., Monteil, D. C., Ockeloen, C. W., Pais, L. S., Plaiasu, V., Raiti, L., Richmond, C., Rieß, A., Schwaibold, E. M. C., Simon, M. E. H., Spranger, S., Tan, T. Y., Thompson, M. L., De Vries, B. B., Wilkins, E. J., Willemsen, M. H., Francks, C., Vissers, L. E. L. M., Fisher, S. E., & Kleefstra, T. (2022). Inherited variants in CHD3 show variable expressivity in Snijders Blok-Campeau syndrome. Genetics in Medicine, 24(6), 1283-1296. doi:10.1016/j.gim.2022.02.014.

    Abstract

    Purpose

    Common diagnostic next-generation sequencing strategies are not optimized to identify inherited variants in genes associated with dominant neurodevelopmental disorders as causal when the transmitting parent is clinically unaffected, leaving a significant number of cases with neurodevelopmental disorders undiagnosed.
    Methods

    We characterized 21 families with inherited heterozygous missense or protein-truncating variants in CHD3, a gene in which de novo variants cause Snijders Blok-Campeau syndrome.
    Results

    Computational facial and Human Phenotype Ontology–based comparisons showed that the phenotype of probands with inherited CHD3 variants overlaps with the phenotype previously associated with de novo CHD3 variants, whereas heterozygote parents are mildly or not affected, suggesting variable expressivity. In addition, similarly reduced expression levels of CHD3 protein in cells of an affected proband and of healthy family members with a CHD3 protein-truncating variant suggested that compensation of expression from the wild-type allele is unlikely to be an underlying mechanism. Notably, most inherited CHD3 variants were maternally transmitted.
    Conclusion

    Our results point to a significant role of inherited variation in Snijders Blok-Campeau syndrome, a finding that is critical for correct variant interpretation and genetic counseling and warrants further investigation toward understanding the broader contributions of such variation to the landscape of human disease.
  • Wierenga, L. M., Doucet, G. E., Dima, D., Agartz, I., Aghajani, M., Akudjedu, T. N., Albajes-Eizagirre, A., Alnæs, D., Alpert, K. I., Andreassen, O. A., Anticevic, A., Asherson, P., Banaschewski, T., Bargallo, N., Baumeister, S., Baur-Streubel, R., Bertolino, A., Bonvino, A., Boomsma, D. I., Borgwardt, S. and 139 moreWierenga, L. M., Doucet, G. E., Dima, D., Agartz, I., Aghajani, M., Akudjedu, T. N., Albajes-Eizagirre, A., Alnæs, D., Alpert, K. I., Andreassen, O. A., Anticevic, A., Asherson, P., Banaschewski, T., Bargallo, N., Baumeister, S., Baur-Streubel, R., Bertolino, A., Bonvino, A., Boomsma, D. I., Borgwardt, S., Bourque, J., Den Braber, A., Brandeis, D., Breier, A., Brodaty, H., Brouwer, R. M., Buitelaar, J. K., Busatto, G. F., Calhoun, V. D., Canales-Rodríguez, E. J., Cannon, D. M., Caseras, X., Castellanos, F. X., Chaim-Avancini, T. M., Ching, C. R. K., Clark, V. P., Conrod, P. J., Conzelmann, A., Crivello, F., Davey, C. G., Dickie, E. W., Ehrlich, S., Van 't Ent, D., Fisher, S. E., Fouche, J.-P., Franke, B., Fuentes-Claramonte, P., De Geus, E. J. C., Di Giorgio, A., Glahn, D. C., Gotlib, I. H., Grabe, H. J., Gruber, O., Gruner, P., Gur, R. E., Gur, R. C., Gurholt, T. P., De Haan, L., Haatveit, B., Harrison, B. J., Hartman, C. A., Hatton, S. N., Heslenfeld, D. J., Van den Heuvel, O. A., Hickie, I. B., Hoekstra, P. J., Hohmann, S., Holmes, A. J., Hoogman, M., Hosten, N., Howells, F. M., Hulshoff Pol, H. E., Huyser, C., Jahanshad, N., James, A. C., Jiang, J., Jönsson, E. G., Joska, J. A., Kalnin, A. J., Karolinska Schizophrenia Project (KaSP) Consortium, Klein, M., Koenders, L., Kolskår, K. K., Krämer, B., Kuntsi, J., Lagopoulos, J., Lazaro, L., Lebedeva, I. S., Lee, P. H., Lochner, C., Machielsen, M. W. J., Maingault, S., Martin, N. G., Martínez-Zalacaín, I., Mataix-Cols, D., Mazoyer, B., McDonald, B. C., McDonald, C., McIntosh, A. M., McMahon, K. L., McPhilemy, G., Van der Meer, D., Menchón, J. M., Naaijen, J., Nyberg, L., Oosterlaan, J., Paloyelis, Y., Pauli, P., Pergola, G., Pomarol-Clotet, E., Portella, M. J., Radua, J., Reif, A., Richard, G., Roffman, J. L., Rosa, P. G. P., Sacchet, M. D., Sachdev, P. S., Salvador, R., Sarró, S., Satterthwaite, T. D., Saykin, A. J., Serpa, M. H., Sim, K., Simmons, A., Smoller, J. W., Sommer, I. E., Soriano-Mas, C., Stein, D. J., Strike, L. T., Szeszko, P. R., Temmingh, H. S., Thomopoulos, S. I., Tomyshev, A. S., Trollor, J. N., Uhlmann, A., Veer, I. M., Veltman, D. J., Voineskos, A., Völzke, H., Walter, H., Wang, L., Wang, Y., Weber, B., Wen, W., West, J. D., Westlye, L. T., Whalley, H. C., Williams, S. C. R., Wittfeld, K., Wolf, D. H., Wright, M. J., Yoncheva, Y. N., Zanetti, M. V., Ziegler, G. C., De Zubicaray, G. I., Thompson, P. M., Crone, E. A., Frangou, S., & Tamnes, C. K. (2022). Greater male than female variability in regional brain structure across the lifespan. Human Brain Mapping, 43(1), 470-499. doi:10.1002/hbm.25204.

    Abstract

    For many traits, males show greater variability than females, with possible implications for understanding sex differences in health and disease. Here, the ENIGMA (Enhancing Neuro Imaging Genetics through Meta‐Analysis) Consortium presents the largest‐ever mega‐analysis of sex differences in variability of brain structure, based on international data spanning nine decades of life. Subcortical volumes, cortical surface area and cortical thickness were assessed in MRI data of 16,683 healthy individuals 1‐90 years old (47% females). We observed significant patterns of greater male than female between‐subject variance for all subcortical volumetric measures, all cortical surface area measures, and 60% of cortical thickness measures. This pattern was stable across the lifespan for 50% of the subcortical structures, 70% of the regional area measures, and nearly all regions for thickness. Our findings that these sex differences are present in childhood implicate early life genetic or gene‐environment interaction mechanisms. The findings highlight the importance of individual differences within the sexes, that may underpin sex‐specific vulnerability to disorders.
  • Braden, R. O., Amor, D. J., Fisher, S. E., Mei, C., Myers, C. T., Mefford, H., Gill, D., Srivastava, S., Swanson, L. C., Goel, H., Scheffer, I. E., & Morgan, A. T. (2021). Severe speech impairment is a distinguishing feature of FOXP1-related disorder. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 63(12), 1417-1426. doi:10.1111/dmcn.14955.

    Abstract

    Aim
    To delineate the speech and language phenotype of a cohort of individuals with FOXP1-related disorder.

    Method
    We administered a standardized test battery to examine speech and oral motor function, receptive and expressive language, non-verbal cognition, and adaptive behaviour. Clinical history and cognitive assessments were analysed together with speech and language findings.

    Results
    Twenty-nine patients (17 females, 12 males; mean age 9y 6mo; median age 8y [range 2y 7mo–33y]; SD 6y 5mo) with pathogenic FOXP1 variants (14 truncating, three missense, three splice site, one in-frame deletion, eight cytogenic deletions; 28 out of 29 were de novo variants) were studied. All had atypical speech, with 21 being verbal and eight minimally verbal. All verbal patients had dysarthric and apraxic features, with phonological deficits in most (14 out of 16). Language scores were low overall. In the 21 individuals who carried truncating or splice site variants and small deletions, expressive abilities were relatively preserved compared with comprehension.

    Interpretation
    FOXP1-related disorder is characterized by a complex speech and language phenotype with prominent dysarthria, broader motor planning and programming deficits, and linguistic-based phonological errors. Diagnosis of the speech phenotype associated with FOXP1-related dysfunction will inform early targeted therapy.

    Additional information

    figure S1 table S1
  • Carrion Castillo, A., Estruch, S. B., Maassen, B., Franke, B., Francks, C., & Fisher, S. E. (2021). Whole-genome sequencing identifies functional noncoding variation in SEMA3C that cosegregates with dyslexia in a multigenerational family. Human Genetics, 140, 1183-1200. doi:10.1007/s00439-021-02289-w.

    Abstract

    Dyslexia is a common heritable developmental disorder involving impaired reading abilities. Its genetic underpinnings are thought to be complex and heterogeneous, involving common and rare genetic variation. Multigenerational families segregating apparent monogenic forms of language-related disorders can provide useful entrypoints into biological pathways. In the present study, we performed a genome-wide linkage scan in a three-generational family in which dyslexia affects 14 of its 30 members and seems to be transmitted with an autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance. We identified a locus on chromosome 7q21.11 which cosegregated with dyslexia status, with the exception of two cases of phenocopy (LOD = 2.83). Whole-genome sequencing of key individuals enabled the assessment of coding and noncoding variation in the family. Two rare single-nucleotide variants (rs144517871 and rs143835534) within the first intron of the SEMA3C gene cosegregated with the 7q21.11 risk haplotype. In silico characterization of these two variants predicted effects on gene regulation, which we functionally validated for rs144517871 in human cell lines using luciferase reporter assays. SEMA3C encodes a secreted protein that acts as a guidance cue in several processes, including cortical neuronal migration and cellular polarization. We hypothesize that these intronic variants could have a cis-regulatory effect on SEMA3C expression, making a contribution to dyslexia susceptibility in this family.
  • Den Hoed, J., Devaraju, K., & Fisher, S. E. (2021). Molecular networks of the FOXP2 transcription factor in the brain. EMBO Reports, 22(8): e52803. doi:10.15252/embr.202152803.

    Abstract

    The discovery of the FOXP2 transcription factor, and its implication in a rare severe human speech and language disorder, has led to two decades of empirical studies focused on uncovering its roles in the brain using a range of in vitro and in vivo methods. Here, we discuss what we have learned about the regulation of FOXP2, its downstream effectors, and its modes of action as a transcription factor in brain development and function, providing an integrated overview of what is currently known about the critical molecular networks.
  • Den Hoed, J., De Boer, E., Voisin, N., Dingemans, A. J. M., Guex, N., Wiel, L., Nellaker, C., Amudhavalli, S. M., Banka, S., Bena, F. S., Ben-Zeev, B., Bonagura, V. R., Bruel, A.-L., Brunet, T., Brunner, H. G., Chew, H. B., Chrast, J., Cimbalistienė, L., Coon, H., The DDD study, Délot, E. C. and 77 moreDen Hoed, J., De Boer, E., Voisin, N., Dingemans, A. J. M., Guex, N., Wiel, L., Nellaker, C., Amudhavalli, S. M., Banka, S., Bena, F. S., Ben-Zeev, B., Bonagura, V. R., Bruel, A.-L., Brunet, T., Brunner, H. G., Chew, H. B., Chrast, J., Cimbalistienė, L., Coon, H., The DDD study, Délot, E. C., Démurger, F., Denommé-Pichon, A.-S., Depienne, C., Donnai, D., Dyment, D. A., Elpeleg, O., Faivre, L., Gilissen, C., Granger, L., Haber, B., Hachiya, Y., Hamzavi Abedi, Y., Hanebeck, J., Hehir-Kwa, J. Y., Horist, B., Itai, T., Jackson, A., Jewell, R., Jones, K. L., Joss, S., Kashii, H., Kato, M., Kattentidt-Mouravieva, A. A., Kok, F., Kotzaeridou, U., Krishnamurthy, V., Kučinskas, V., Kuechler, A., Lavillaureix, A., Liu, P., Manwaring, L., Matsumoto, N., Mazel, B., McWalter, K., Meiner, V., Mikati, M. A., Miyatake, S., Mizuguchi, T., Moey, L. H., Mohammed, S., Mor-Shaked, H., Mountford, H., Newbury-Ecob, R., Odent, S., Orec, L., Osmond, M., Palculict, T. B., Parker, M., Petersen, A., Pfundt, R., Preikšaitienė, E., Radtke, K., Ranza, E., Rosenfeld, J. A., Santiago-Sim, T., Schwager, C., Sinnema, M., Snijders Blok, L., Spillmann, R. C., Stegmann, A. P. A., Thiffault, I., Tran, L., Vaknin-Dembinsky, A., Vedovato-dos-Santos, J. H., Vergano, S. A., Vilain, E., Vitobello, A., Wagner, M., Waheeb, A., Willing, M., Zuccarelli, B., Kini, U., Newbury, D. F., Kleefstra, T., Reymond, A., Fisher, S. E., & Vissers, L. E. L. M. (2021). Mutation-specific pathophysiological mechanisms define different neurodevelopmental disorders associated with SATB1 dysfunction. The American Journal of Human Genetics, 108(2), 346-356. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.01.007.

    Abstract

    Whereas large-scale statistical analyses can robustly identify disease-gene relationships, they do not accurately capture genotype-phenotype correlations or disease mechanisms. We use multiple lines of independent evidence to show that different variant types in a single gene, SATB1, cause clinically overlapping but distinct neurodevelopmental disorders. Clinical evaluation of 42 individuals carrying SATB1 variants identified overt genotype-phenotype relationships, associated with different pathophysiological mechanisms, established by functional assays. Missense variants in the CUT1 and CUT2 DNA-binding domains result in stronger chromatin binding, increased transcriptional repression and a severe phenotype. Contrastingly, variants predicted to result in haploinsufficiency are associated with a milder clinical presentation. A similarly mild phenotype is observed for individuals with premature protein truncating variants that escape nonsense-mediated decay and encode truncated proteins, which are transcriptionally active but mislocalized in the cell. Our results suggest that in-depth mutation-specific genotype-phenotype studies are essential to capture full disease complexity and to explain phenotypic variability.
  • Gialluisi, A., Andlauer, T. F. M., Mirza-Schreiber, N., Moll, K., Becker, J., Hoffmann, P., Ludwig, K. U., Czamara, D., St Pourcain, B., Honbolygó, F., Tóth, D., Csépe, V., Huguet, H., Chaix, Y., Iannuzzi, S., Demonet, J.-F., Morris, A. P., Hulslander, J., Willcutt, E. G., DeFries, J. C. and 29 moreGialluisi, A., Andlauer, T. F. M., Mirza-Schreiber, N., Moll, K., Becker, J., Hoffmann, P., Ludwig, K. U., Czamara, D., St Pourcain, B., Honbolygó, F., Tóth, D., Csépe, V., Huguet, H., Chaix, Y., Iannuzzi, S., Demonet, J.-F., 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., Kirsten, H., Müller, B., 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. (2021). Genome-wide association study reveals new insights into the heritability and genetic correlates of developmental dyslexia. Molecular Psychiatry, 26, 3004-3017. doi:10.1038/s41380-020-00898-x.

    Abstract

    Developmental dyslexia (DD) is a learning disorder affecting the ability to read, with a heritability of 40–60%. A notable part of this heritability remains unexplained, and large genetic studies are warranted to identify new susceptibility genes and clarify the genetic bases of dyslexia. We carried out a genome-wide association study (GWAS) on 2274 dyslexia cases and 6272 controls, testing associations at the single variant, gene, and pathway level, and estimating heritability using single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data. We also calculated polygenic scores (PGSs) based on large-scale GWAS data for different neuropsychiatric disorders and cortical brain measures, educational attainment, and fluid intelligence, testing them for association with dyslexia status in our sample. We observed statistically significant (p  < 2.8 × 10−6) enrichment of associations at the gene level, for LOC388780 (20p13; uncharacterized gene), and for VEPH1 (3q25), a gene implicated in brain development. We estimated an SNP-based heritability of 20–25% for DD, and observed significant associations of dyslexia risk with PGSs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (at pT = 0.05 in the training GWAS: OR = 1.23[1.16; 1.30] per standard deviation increase; p  = 8 × 10−13), bipolar disorder (1.53[1.44; 1.63]; p = 1 × 10−43), schizophrenia (1.36[1.28; 1.45]; p = 4 × 10−22), psychiatric cross-disorder susceptibility (1.23[1.16; 1.30]; p = 3 × 10−12), cortical thickness of the transverse temporal gyrus (0.90[0.86; 0.96]; p = 5 × 10−4), educational attainment (0.86[0.82; 0.91]; p = 2 × 10−7), and intelligence (0.72[0.68; 0.76]; p = 9 × 10−29). This study suggests an important contribution of common genetic variants to dyslexia risk, and novel genomic overlaps with psychiatric conditions like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and cross-disorder susceptibility. Moreover, it revealed the presence of shared genetic foundations with a neural correlate previously implicated in dyslexia by neuroimaging evidence.
  • Jansen, N. A., Braden, R. O., Srivastava, S., Otness, E. F., Lesca, G., Rossi, M., Nizon, M., Bernier, R. A., Quelin, C., Van Haeringen, A., Kleefstra, T., Wong, M. M. K., Whalen, S., Fisher, S. E., Morgan, A. T., & Van Bon, B. W. (2021). Clinical delineation of SETBP1 haploinsufficiency disorder. European Journal of Human Genetics, 29, 1198 -1205. doi:10.1038/s41431-021-00888-9.

    Abstract

    SETBP1 haploinsufficiency disorder (MIM#616078) is caused by haploinsufficiency of SETBP1 on chromosome 18q12.3, but there has not yet been any systematic evaluation of the major features of this monogenic syndrome, assessing penetrance and expressivity. We describe the first comprehensive study to delineate the associated clinical phenotype, with findings from 34 individuals, including 24 novel cases, all of whom have a SETBP1 loss-of-function variant or single (coding) gene deletion, confirmed by molecular diagnostics. The most commonly reported clinical features included mild motor developmental delay, speech impairment, intellectual disability, hypotonia, vision impairment, attention/concentration deficits, and hyperactivity. Although there is a mild overlap in certain facial features, the disorder does not lead to a distinctive recognizable facial gestalt. As well as providing insight into the clinical spectrum of SETBP1 haploinsufficiency disorder, this reports puts forward care recommendations for patient management.

    Additional information

    supplementary table
  • Kong, X., Postema, M., Schijven, D., Carrion Castillo, A., Pepe, A., Crivello, F., Joliot, M., Mazoyer, B., Fisher, S. E., & Francks, C. (2021). Large-scale phenomic and genomic analysis of brain asymmetrical skew. Cerebral Cortex, 31(9), 4151-4168. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhab075.

    Abstract

    The human cerebral hemispheres show a left–right asymmetrical torque pattern, which has been claimed to be absent in chimpanzees. The functional significance and developmental mechanisms are unknown. Here, we carried out the largest-ever analysis of global brain shape asymmetry in magnetic resonance imaging data. Three population datasets were used, UK Biobank (N = 39 678), Human Connectome Project (N = 1113), and BIL&GIN (N = 453). At the population level, there was an anterior and dorsal skew of the right hemisphere, relative to the left. Both skews were associated independently with handedness, and various regional gray and white matter metrics oppositely in the two hemispheres, as well as other variables related to cognitive functions, sociodemographic factors, and physical and mental health. The two skews showed single nucleotide polymorphisms-based heritabilities of 4–13%, but also substantial polygenicity in causal mixture model analysis, and no individually significant loci were found in genome-wide association studies for either skew. There was evidence for a significant genetic correlation between horizontal brain skew and autism, which requires future replication. These results provide the first large-scale description of population-average brain skews and their inter-individual variations, their replicable associations with handedness, and insights into biological and other factors which associate with human brain asymmetry.
  • Morgan, A., Braden, R., Wong, M. M. K., Colin, E., Amor, D., Liégeois, F., Srivastava, S., Vogel, A., Bizaoui, V., Ranguin, K., Fisher, S. E., & Van Bon, B. W. (2021). Speech and language deficits are central to SETBP1 haploinsufficiency disorder. European Journal of Human Genetics, 29, 1216-1225. doi:10.1038/s41431-021-00894-x.

    Abstract

    Expressive communication impairment is associated with haploinsufficiency of SETBP1, as reported in small case series. Heterozygous pathogenic loss-of-function (LoF) variants in SETBP1 have also been identified in independent cohorts ascertained for childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), warranting further investigation of the roles of this gene in speech development. Thirty-one participants (12 males, aged 0; 8–23; 2 years, 28 with pathogenic SETBP1 LoF variants, 3 with 18q12.3 deletions) were assessed for speech, language and literacy abilities. Broader development was examined with standardised motor, social and daily life skills assessments. Gross and fine motor deficits (94%) and intellectual impairments (68%) were common. Protracted and aberrant speech development was consistently seen, regardless of motor or intellectual ability. We expand the linguistic phenotype associated with SETBP1 LoF syndrome (SETBP1 haploinsufficiency disorder), revealing a striking speech presentation that implicates both motor (CAS, dysarthria) and language (phonological errors) systems, with CAS (80%) being the most common diagnosis. In contrast to past reports, the understanding of language was rarely better preserved than language expression (29%). Language was typically low, to moderately impaired, with commensurate expression and comprehension ability. Children were sociable with a strong desire to communicate. Minimally verbal children (32%) augmented speech with sign language, gestures or digital devices. Overall, relative to general development, spoken language and literacy were poorer than social, daily living, motor and adaptive behaviour skills. Our findings show that poor communication is a central feature of SETBP1 haploinsufficiency disorder, confirming this gene as a strong candidate for speech and language disorders.
  • Postema, M., Hoogman, M., Ambrosino, S., Asherson, P., Banaschewski, T., Bandeira, C. E., Baranov, A., Bau, C. H. D., Baumeister, S., Baur-Streubel, R., Bellgrove, M. A., Biederman, J., Bralten, J., Brandeis, D., Brem, S., Buitelaar, J. K., Busatto, G. F., Castellanos, F. X., Cercignani, M., Chaim-Avancini, T. M. and 85 morePostema, M., Hoogman, M., Ambrosino, S., Asherson, P., Banaschewski, T., Bandeira, C. E., Baranov, A., Bau, C. H. D., Baumeister, S., Baur-Streubel, R., Bellgrove, M. A., Biederman, J., Bralten, J., Brandeis, D., Brem, S., Buitelaar, J. K., Busatto, G. F., Castellanos, F. X., Cercignani, M., Chaim-Avancini, T. M., Chantiluke, K. C., Christakou, A., Coghill, D., Conzelmann, A., Cubillo, A. I., Cupertino, R. B., De Zeeuw, P., Doyle, A. E., Durston, S., Earl, E. A., Epstein, J. N., Ethofer, T., Fair, D. A., Fallgatter, A. J., Faraone, S. V., Frodl, T., Gabel, M. C., Gogberashvili, T., Grevet, E. H., Haavik, J., Harrison, N. A., Hartman, C. A., Heslenfeld, D. J., Hoekstra, P. J., Hohmann, S., Høvik, M. F., Jernigan, T. L., Kardatzki, B., Karkashadze, G., Kelly, C., Kohls, G., Konrad, K., Kuntsi, J., Lazaro, L., Lera-Miguel, S., Lesch, K.-P., Louza, M. R., Lundervold, A. J., Malpas, C. B., Mattos, P., McCarthy, H., Namazova-Baranova, L., Nicolau, R., Nigg, J. T., Novotny, S. E., Oberwelland Weiss, E., O'Gorman Tuura, R. L., Oosterlaan, J., Oranje, B., Paloyelis, Y., Pauli, P., Picon, F. A., Plessen, K. J., Ramos-Quiroga, J. A., Reif, A., Reneman, L., Rosa, P. G. P., Rubia, K., Schrantee, A., Schweren, L. J. S., Seitz, J., Shaw, P., Silk, T. J., Skokauskas, N., Soliva Vila, J. C., Stevens, M. C., Sudre, G., Tamm, L., Tovar-Moll, F., Van Erp, T. G. M., Vance, A., Vilarroya, O., Vives-Gilabert, Y., Von Polier, G. G., Walitza, S., Yoncheva, Y. N., Zanetti, M. V., Ziegler, G. C., Glahn, D. C., Jahanshad, N., Medland, S. E., ENIGMA ADHD Working Group, Thompson, P. M., Fisher, S. E., Franke, B., & Francks, C. (2021). Analysis of structural brain asymmetries in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in 39 datasets. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 62(10), 1202-1219. doi:10.1111/jcpp.13396.

    Abstract

    Objective: Some studies have suggested alterations of structural brain asymmetry in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but findings have been contradictory and based on small samples. Here we performed the largest-ever analysis of brain left-right asymmetry in ADHD, using 39 datasets of the ENIGMA consortium.
    Methods: We analyzed asymmetry of subcortical and cerebral cortical structures in up to 1,933 people with ADHD and 1,829 unaffected controls. Asymmetry Indexes (AIs) were calculated per participant for each bilaterally paired measure, and linear mixed effects modelling was applied separately in children, adolescents, adults, and the total sample, to test exhaustively for potential associations of ADHD with structural brain asymmetries.
    Results: There was no evidence for altered caudate nucleus asymmetry in ADHD, in contrast to prior literature. In children, there was less rightward asymmetry of the total hemispheric surface area compared to controls (t=2.1, P=0.04). Lower rightward asymmetry of medial orbitofrontal cortex surface area in ADHD (t=2.7, P=0.01) was similar to a recent finding for autism spectrum disorder. There were also some differences in cortical thickness asymmetry across age groups. In adults with ADHD, globus pallidus asymmetry was altered compared to those without ADHD. However, all effects were small (Cohen’s d from -0.18 to 0.18) and would not survive study-wide correction for multiple testing.
    Conclusion: Prior studies of altered structural brain asymmetry in ADHD were likely under-powered to detect the small effects reported here. Altered structural asymmetry is unlikely to provide a useful biomarker for ADHD, but may provide neurobiological insights into the trait.

    Additional information

    jcpp13396-sup-0001-supinfo.pdf
  • Sha, Z., Pepe, A., Schijven, D., Carrion Castillo, A., Roe, J. M., Westerhausen, R., Joliot, M., Fisher, S. E., Crivello, F., & Francks, C. (2021). Handedness and its genetic influences are associated with structural asymmetries of the cerebral cortex in 31,864 individuals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(47): e2113095118. doi:10.1073/pnas.2113095118.

    Abstract

    Roughly 10% of the human population is left-handed, and this rate is increased in some brain-related disorders. The neuroanatomical correlates of hand preference have remained equivocal. We resampled structural brain image data from 28,802 right-handers and 3,062 left-handers (UK Biobank population dataset) to a symmetrical surface template, and mapped asymmetries for each of 8,681 vertices across the cerebral cortex in each individual. Left-handers compared to right-handers showed average differences of surface area asymmetry within the fusiform cortex, the anterior insula, the anterior middle cingulate cortex, and the precentral cortex. Meta-analyzed functional imaging data implicated these regions in executive functions and language. Polygenic disposition to left-handedness was associated with two of these regional asymmetries, and 18 loci previously linked with left-handedness by genome-wide screening showed associations with one or more of these asymmetries. Implicated genes included six encoding microtubule-related proteins: TUBB, TUBA1B, TUBB3, TUBB4A, MAP2, and NME7—mutations in the latter can cause left to right reversal of the visceral organs. There were also two cortical regions where average thickness asymmetry was altered in left-handedness: on the postcentral gyrus and the inferior occipital cortex, functionally annotated with hand sensorimotor and visual roles. These cortical thickness asymmetries were not heritable. Heritable surface area asymmetries of language-related regions may link the etiologies of hand preference and language, whereas nonheritable asymmetries of sensorimotor cortex may manifest as consequences of hand preference.
  • Sha, Z., Schijven, D., Carrion Castillo, A., Joliot, M., Mazoyer, B., Fisher, S. E., Crivello, F., & Francks, C. (2021). The genetic architecture of structural left–right asymmetry of the human brain. Nature Human Behaviour, 5, 1226-1236. doi:10.1038/s41562-021-01069-w.

    Abstract

    Left–right hemispheric asymmetry is an important aspect of healthy brain organization for many functions including language, and it can be altered in cognitive and psychiatric disorders. No mechanism has yet been identified for establishing the human brain’s left–right axis. We performed multivariate genome-wide association scanning of cortical regional surface area and thickness asymmetries, and subcortical volume asymmetries, using data from 32,256 participants from the UK Biobank. There were 21 significant loci associated with different aspects of brain asymmetry, with functional enrichment involving microtubule-related genes and embryonic brain expression. These findings are consistent with a known role of the cytoskeleton in left–right axis determination in other organs of invertebrates and frogs. Genetic variants associated with brain asymmetry overlapped with those associated with autism, educational attainment and schizophrenia. Comparably large datasets will likely be required in future studies, to replicate and further clarify the associations of microtubule-related genes with variation in brain asymmetry, behavioural and psychiatric traits.
  • Shapland, C. Y., Verhoef, E., Smith, G. D., Fisher, S. E., Verhulst, B., Dale, P. S., & St Pourcain, B. (2021). Multivariate genome-wide covariance analyses of literacy, language and working memory skills reveal distinct etiologies. npj Science of Learning, 6: 23. doi:10.1038/s41539-021-00101-y.

    Abstract

    Several abilities outside literacy proper are associated with reading and spelling, both phenotypically and genetically, though our knowledge of multivariate genomic covariance structures is incomplete. Here, we introduce structural models describing genetic and residual influences between traits to study multivariate links across measures of literacy, phonological awareness, oral language, and phonological working memory (PWM) in unrelated UK youth (8-13 years, N=6,453). We find that all phenotypes share a large proportion of underlying genetic variation, although especially oral language and PWM reveal substantial differences in their genetic variance composition with substantial trait-specific genetic influences. Multivariate genetic and residual trait covariance showed concordant patterns, except for marked differences between oral language and literacy/phonological awareness, where strong genetic links contrasted near-zero residual overlap. These findings suggest differences in etiological mechanisms, acting beyond a pleiotropic set of genetic variants, and implicate variation in trait modifiability even among phenotypes that have high genetic correlations.

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    supplementary information
  • Smeets, C. J. L. M., Ma, K. Y., Fisher, S. E., & Verbeek, D. S. (2021). Cerebellar developmental deficits underlie neurodegenerative disorder spinocerebellar ataxia type 23. Brain Pathology, 31(2), 239-252. doi:10.1111/bpa.12905.

    Abstract

    Spinocerebellar ataxia type 23 (SCA23) is a late‐onset neurodegenerative disorder characterized by slowly progressive gait and limb ataxia, for which there is no therapy available. It is caused by pathogenic variants in PDYN, which encodes prodynorphin (PDYN). PDYN is processed into the opioid peptides α‐neoendorphin and dynorphins (Dyn) A and B; inhibitory neurotransmitters that function in pain signaling, stress‐induced responses and addiction. Variants causing SCA23 mostly affect Dyn A, leading to loss of secondary structure and increased peptide stability. PDYNR212W mice express human PDYN containing the SCA23 variant p.R212W. These mice show progressive motor deficits from 3 months of age, climbing fiber (CF) deficits from 3 months of age, and Purkinje cell (PC) loss from 12 months of age. A mouse model for SCA1 showed similar CF deficits, and a recent study found additional developmental abnormalities, namely increased GABAergic interneuron connectivity and non‐cell autonomous disruption of PC function. As SCA23 mice show a similar pathology to SCA1 mice in adulthood, we hypothesized that SCA23 may also follow SCA1 pathology during development. Examining PDYNR212W cerebella during development, we uncovered developmental deficits from 2 weeks of age, namely a reduced number of GABAergic synapses on PC soma, possibly leading to the observed delay in early phase CF elimination between 2 and 3 weeks of age. Furthermore, CFs did not reach terminal height, leaving proximal PC dendrites open to be occupied by parallel fibers (PFs). The observed increase in vGlut1 protein—a marker for PF‐PC synapses—indicates that PFs indeed take over CF territory and have increased connectivity with PCs. Additionally, we detected altered expression of several critical Ca2+ channel subunits, potentially contributing to altered Ca2+ transients in PDYNR212W cerebella. These findings indicate that developmental abnormalities contribute to the SCA23 pathology and uncover a developmental role for PDYN in the cerebellum.
  • Snijders Blok, L., Goosen, Y. M., Haaften, L., Hulst, K., Fisher, S. E., Brunner, H. G., Egger, J. I. M., & Kleefstra, T. (2021). Speech‐language profiles in the context of cognitive and adaptive functioning inSATB2‐associated syndrome. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 20(7): e12761. doi:10.1111/gbb.12761.

    Abstract

    SATB2-associated syndrome (SAS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by heterozygous pathogenic variants in the SATB2 gene, and is typically characterized by intellectual disability and severely impaired communication skills. The goal of this study was to contribute to the understanding of speech and language impairments in SAS, in the context of general developmental skills and cognitive and adaptive functioning. We performed detailed oral motor, speech and language profiling in combination with neuropsychological assessments in 23 individuals with a molecularly confirmed SAS diagnosis: 11 primarily verbal individuals and 12 primarily nonverbal individuals, independent of their ages. All individuals had severe receptive language delays. For all verbal individuals, we were able to define underlying speech conditions. While childhood apraxia of speech was most prevalent, oral motor problems appeared frequent as well and were more present in the nonverbal group than in the verbal group. For seven individuals, age-appropriate Wechsler indices could be derived, showing that the level of intellectual functioning of these individuals varied from moderate–mild ID to mild ID-borderline intellectual functioning. Assessments of adaptive functioning with the Vineland Screener showed relatively high scores on the domain “daily functioning” and relatively low scores on the domain “communication” in most individuals. Altogether, this study provides a detailed delineation of oral motor, speech and language skills and neuropsychological functioning in individuals with SAS, and can provide families and caregivers with information to guide diagnosis, management and treatment approaches.

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    supporting information
  • Snijders Blok, L., Vino, A., Den Hoed, J., Underhill, H. R., Monteil, D., Li, H., Reynoso Santos, F. J., Chung, W. K., Amaral, M. D., Schnur, R. E., Santiago-Sim, T., Si, Y., Brunner, H. G., Kleefstra, T., & Fisher, S. E. (2021). Heterozygous variants that disturb the transcriptional repressor activity of FOXP4 cause a developmental disorder with speech/language delays and multiple congenital abnormalities. Genetics in Medicine, 23, 534-542. doi:10.1038/s41436-020-01016-6.

    Abstract

    Heterozygous pathogenic variants in various FOXP genes cause specific developmental disorders. The phenotype associated with heterozygous variants in FOXP4 has not been previously described.
    We assembled a cohort of eight individuals with heterozygous and mostly de novo variants in FOXP4: seven individuals with six different missense variants and one individual with a frameshift variant. We collected clinical data to delineate the phenotypic spectrum, and used in silico analyses and functional cell-based assays to assess pathogenicity of the variants.
    We collected clinical data for six individuals: five individuals with a missense variant in the forkhead box DNA-binding domain of FOXP4, and one individual with a truncating variant. Overlapping features included speech and language delays, growth abnormalities, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, cervical spine abnormalities, and ptosis. Luciferase assays showed loss-of-function effects for all these variants, and aberrant subcellular localization patterns were seen in a subset. The remaining two missense variants were located outside the functional domains of FOXP4, and showed transcriptional repressor capacities and localization patterns similar to the wild-type protein.
    Collectively, our findings show that heterozygous loss-of-function variants in FOXP4 are associated with an autosomal dominant neurodevelopmental disorder with speech/language delays, growth defects, and variable congenital abnormalities.
  • Sønderby, I. E., Van der Meer, D., Moreau, C., Kaufmann, T., Walters, G. B., Ellegaard, M., Abdellaoui, A., Ames, D., Amunts, K., Andersson, M., Armstrong, N. J., Bernard, M., Blackburn, N. B., Blangero, J., Boomsma, D. I., Brodaty, H., Brouwer, R. M., Bülow, R., Bøen, R., Cahn, W. and 125 moreSønderby, I. E., Van der Meer, D., Moreau, C., Kaufmann, T., Walters, G. B., Ellegaard, M., Abdellaoui, A., Ames, D., Amunts, K., Andersson, M., Armstrong, N. J., Bernard, M., Blackburn, N. B., Blangero, J., Boomsma, D. I., Brodaty, H., Brouwer, R. M., Bülow, R., Bøen, R., Cahn, W., Calhoun, V. D., Caspers, S., Ching, C. R. K., Cichon, S., Ciufolini, S., Crespo-Facorro, B., Curran, J. E., Dale, A. M., Dalvie, S., Dazzan, P., De Geus, E. J. C., De Zubicaray, G. I., De Zwarte, S. M. C., Desrivieres, S., Doherty, J. L., Donohoe, G., Draganski, B., Ehrlich, S., Eising, E., Espeseth, T., Fejgin, K., Fisher, S. E., Fladby, T., Frei, O., Frouin, V., Fukunaga, M., Gareau, T., Ge, T., Glahn, D. C., Grabe, H. J., Groenewold, N. A., Gústafsson, Ó., Haavik, J., Haberg, A. K., Hall, J., Hashimoto, R., Hehir-Kwa, J. Y., Hibar, D. P., Hillegers, M. H. J., Hoffmann, P., Holleran, L., Holmes, A. J., Homuth, G., Hottenga, J.-J., Hulshoff Pol, H. E., Ikeda, M., Jahanshad, N., Jockwitz, C., Johansson, S., Jönsson, E. G., Jørgensen, N. R., Kikuchi, M., Knowles, E. E. M., Kumar, K., Le Hellard, S., Leu, C., Linden, D. E., Liu, J., Lundervold, A., Lundervold, A. J., Maillard, A. M., Martin, N. G., Martin-Brevet, S., Mather, K. A., Mathias, S. R., McMahon, K. L., McRae, A. F., Medland, S. E., Meyer-Lindenberg, A., Moberget, T., Modenato, C., Monereo Sánchez, J., Morris, D. W., Mühleisen, T. W., Murray, R. M., Nielsen, J., Nordvik, J. E., Nyberg, L., Olde Loohuis, L. M., Ophoff, R. A., Owen, M. J., Paus, T., Pausova, Z., Peralta, J. M., Pike, B., Prieto, C., Quinlan, E. B., Reinbold, C. S., Reis Marques, T., Rucker, J. J. H., Sachdev, P. S., Sando, S. B., Schofield, P. R., Schork, A. J., Schumann, G., Shin, J., Shumskaya, E., Silva, A. I., Sisodiya, S. M., Steen, V. M., Stein, D. J., Strike, L. T., Suzuki, I. K., Tamnes, C. K., Teumer, A., Thalamuthu, A., Tordesillas-Gutiérrez, D., Uhlmann, A., Úlfarsson, M. Ö., Van 't Ent, D., Van den Bree, M. B. M., Vanderhaeghen, P., Vassos, E., Wen, W., Wittfeld, K., Wright, M. J., Agartz, I., Djurovic, S., Westlye, L. T., Stefánsson, H., Stefánsson, K., Jacquemont, S., Thompson, P. M., Andreassen, O. A., & the ENIGMA-CNV working group (2021). 1q21.1 distal copy number variants are associated with cerebral and cognitive alterations in humans. Translational Psychiatry, 11: 182. doi:10.1038/s41398-021-01213-0.

    Abstract

    Low-frequency 1q21.1 distal deletion and duplication copy number variant (CNV) carriers are predisposed to multiple neurodevelopmental disorders, including schizophrenia, autism and intellectual disability. Human carriers display a high prevalence of micro- and macrocephaly in deletion and duplication carriers, respectively. The underlying brain structural diversity remains largely unknown. We systematically called CNVs in 38 cohorts from the large-scale ENIGMA-CNV collaboration and the UK Biobank and identified 28 1q21.1 distal deletion and 22 duplication carriers and 37,088 non-carriers (48% male) derived from 15 distinct magnetic resonance imaging scanner sites. With standardized methods, we compared subcortical and cortical brain measures (all) and cognitive performance (UK Biobank only) between carrier groups also testing for mediation of brain structure on cognition. We identified positive dosage effects of copy number on intracranial volume (ICV) and total cortical surface area, with the largest effects in frontal and cingulate cortices, and negative dosage effects on caudate and hippocampal volumes. The carriers displayed distinct cognitive deficit profiles in cognitive tasks from the UK Biobank with intermediate decreases in duplication carriers and somewhat larger in deletion carriers—the latter potentially mediated by ICV or cortical surface area. These results shed light on pathobiological mechanisms of neurodevelopmental disorders, by demonstrating gene dose effect on specific brain structures and effect on cognitive function.

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    figures and notes tables
  • Tilot, A. K., Khramtsova, E. A., Liang, D., Grasby, K. L., Jahanshad, N., Painter, J., Colodro-Conde, L., Bralten, J., Hibar, D. P., Lind, P. A., Liu, S., Brotman, S. M., Thompson, P. M., Medland, S. E., Macciardi, F., Stranger, B. E., Davis, L. K., Fisher, S. E., & Stein, J. L. (2021). The evolutionary history of common genetic variants influencing human cortical surface area. Cerebral Cortex, 31(4), 1873-1887. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhaa327.

    Abstract

    Structural brain changes along the lineage leading to modern Homo sapiens contributed to our distinctive cognitive and social abilities. However, the evolutionarily relevant molecular variants impacting key aspects of neuroanatomy are largely unknown. Here, we integrate evolutionary annotations of the genome at diverse timescales with common variant associations from large-scale neuroimaging genetic screens. We find that alleles with evidence of recent positive polygenic selection over the past 2000–3000 years are associated with increased surface area (SA) of the entire cortex, as well as specific regions, including those involved in spoken language and visual processing. Therefore, polygenic selective pressures impact the structure of specific cortical areas even over relatively recent timescales. Moreover, common sequence variation within human gained enhancers active in the prenatal cortex is associated with postnatal global SA. We show that such variation modulates the function of a regulatory element of the developmentally relevant transcription factor HEY2 in human neural progenitor cells and is associated with structural changes in the inferior frontal cortex. These results indicate that non-coding genomic regions active during prenatal cortical development are involved in the evolution of human brain structure and identify novel regulatory elements and genes impacting modern human brain structure.
  • Verhoef, E., Shapland, C. Y., Fisher, S. E., Dale, P. S., & St Pourcain, B. (2021). The developmental origins of genetic factors influencing language and literacy: Associations with early-childhood vocabulary. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 62(6), 728-738. doi:10.1111/jcpp.13327.

    Abstract

    Background

    The heritability of language and literacy skills increases from early‐childhood to adolescence. The underlying mechanisms are little understood and may involve (a) the amplification of genetic influences contributing to early language abilities, and/or (b) the emergence of novel genetic factors (innovation). Here, we investigate the developmental origins of genetic factors influencing mid‐childhood/early‐adolescent language and literacy. We evaluate evidence for the amplification of early‐childhood genetic factors for vocabulary, in addition to genetic innovation processes.
    Methods

    Expressive and receptive vocabulary scores at 38 months, thirteen language‐ and literacy‐related abilities and nonverbal cognition (7–13 years) were assessed in unrelated children from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC, Nindividuals ≤ 6,092). We investigated the multivariate genetic architecture underlying early‐childhood expressive and receptive vocabulary, and each of 14 mid‐childhood/early‐adolescent language, literacy or cognitive skills with trivariate structural equation (Cholesky) models as captured by genome‐wide genetic relationship matrices. The individual path coefficients of the resulting structural models were finally meta‐analysed to evaluate evidence for overarching patterns.
    Results

    We observed little support for the emergence of novel genetic sources for language, literacy or cognitive abilities during mid‐childhood or early adolescence. Instead, genetic factors of early‐childhood vocabulary, especially those unique to receptive skills, were amplified and represented the majority of genetic variance underlying many of these later complex skills (≤99%). The most predictive early genetic factor accounted for 29.4%(SE = 12.9%) to 45.1%(SE = 7.6%) of the phenotypic variation in verbal intelligence and literacy skills, but also for 25.7%(SE = 6.4%) in performance intelligence, while explaining only a fraction of the phenotypic variation in receptive vocabulary (3.9%(SE = 1.8%)).
    Conclusions

    Genetic factors contributing to many complex skills during mid‐childhood and early adolescence, including literacy, verbal cognition and nonverbal cognition, originate developmentally in early‐childhood and are captured by receptive vocabulary. This suggests developmental genetic stability and overarching aetiological mechanisms.

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  • Verhoef, E., Shapland, C. Y., Fisher, S. E., Dale, P. S., & St Pourcain, B. (2021). The developmental genetic architecture of vocabulary skills during the first three years of life: Capturing emerging associations with later-life reading and cognition. PLoS Genetics, 17(2): e1009144. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1009144.

    Abstract

    Individual differences in early-life vocabulary measures are heritable and associated with subsequent reading and cognitive abilities, although the underlying mechanisms are little understood. Here, we (i) investigate the developmental genetic architecture of expressive and receptive vocabulary in early-life and (ii) assess timing of emerging genetic associations with mid-childhood verbal and non-verbal skills. We studied longitudinally assessed early-life vocabulary measures (15–38 months) and later-life verbal and non-verbal skills (7–8 years) in up to 6,524 unrelated children from the population-based Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) cohort. We dissected the phenotypic variance of rank-transformed scores into genetic and residual components by fitting multivariate structural equation models to genome-wide genetic-relationship matrices. Our findings show that the genetic architecture of early-life vocabulary involves multiple distinct genetic factors. Two of these genetic factors are developmentally stable and also contribute to genetic variation in mid-childhood skills: One genetic factor emerging with expressive vocabulary at 24 months (path coefficient: 0.32(SE = 0.06)) was also related to later-life reading (path coefficient: 0.25(SE = 0.12)) and verbal intelligence (path coefficient: 0.42(SE = 0.13)), explaining up to 17.9% of the phenotypic variation. A second, independent genetic factor emerging with receptive vocabulary at 38 months (path coefficient: 0.15(SE = 0.07)), was more generally linked to verbal and non-verbal cognitive abilities in mid-childhood (reading path coefficient: 0.57(SE = 0.07); verbal intelligence path coefficient: 0.60(0.10); performance intelligence path coefficient: 0.50(SE = 0.08)), accounting for up to 36.1% of the phenotypic variation and the majority of genetic variance in these later-life traits (≥66.4%). Thus, the genetic foundations of mid-childhood reading and cognitive abilities are diverse. They involve at least two independent genetic factors that emerge at different developmental stages during early language development and may implicate differences in cognitive processes that are already detectable during toddlerhood.

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    supporting information
  • 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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    Supplementary data
  • Connaughton, D. M., Dai, R., Owen, D. J., Marquez, J., Mann, N., Graham-Paquin, A. L., Nakayama, M., Coyaud, E., Laurent, E. M. N., St-Germain, J. R., Snijders Blok, L., Vino, A., Klämbt, V., Deutsch, K., Wu, C.-H.-W., Kolvenbach, C. M., Kause, F., Ottlewski, I., Schneider, R., Kitzler, T. M. and 79 moreConnaughton, D. M., Dai, R., Owen, D. J., Marquez, J., Mann, N., Graham-Paquin, A. L., Nakayama, M., Coyaud, E., Laurent, E. M. N., St-Germain, J. R., Snijders Blok, L., Vino, A., Klämbt, V., Deutsch, K., Wu, C.-H.-W., Kolvenbach, C. M., Kause, F., Ottlewski, I., Schneider, R., Kitzler, T. M., Majmundar, A. J., Buerger, F., Onuchic-Whitford, A. C., Youying, M., Kolb, A., Salmanullah, D., Chen, E., Van der Ven, A. T., Rao, J., Ityel, H., Seltzsam, S., Rieke, J. M., Chen, J., Vivante, A., Hwang, D.-Y., Kohl, S., Dworschak, G. C., Hermle, T., Alders, M., Bartolomaeus, T., Bauer, S. B., Baum, M. A., Brilstra, E. H., Challman, T. D., Zyskind, J., Costin, C. E., Dipple, K. M., Duijkers, F. A., Ferguson, M., Fitzpatrick, D. R., Fick, R., Glass, I. A., Hulick, P. J., Kline, A. D., Krey, I., Kumar, S., Lu, W., Marco, E. J., Wentzensen, I. M., Mefford, H. C., Platzer, K., Povolotskaya, I. S., Savatt, J. M., Shcherbakova, N. V., Senguttuvan, P., Squire, A. E., Stein, D. R., Thiffault, I., Voinova, V. Y., Somers, M. J. G., Ferguson, M. A., Traum, A. Z., Daouk, G. H., Daga, A., Rodig, N. M., Terhal, P. A., Van Binsbergen, E., Eid, L. A., Tasic, V., Rasouly, H. M., Lim, T. Y., Ahram, D. F., Gharavi, A. G., Reutter, H. M., Rehm, H. L., MacArthur, D. G., Lek, M., Laricchia, K. M., Lifton, R. P., Xu, H., Mane, S. M., Sanna-Cherchi, S., Sharrocks, A. D., Raught, B., Fisher, S. E., Bouchard, M., Khokha, M. K., Shril, S., & Hildebrandt, F. (2020). Mutations of the transcriptional corepressor ZMYM2 cause syndromic urinary tract malformations. The American Journal of Human Genetics, 107(4), 727-742. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.08.013.

    Abstract

    Congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT) constitute one of the most frequent birth defects and represent the most common cause of chronic kidney disease in the first three decades of life. Despite the discovery of dozens of monogenic causes of CAKUT, most pathogenic pathways remain elusive. We performed whole-exome sequencing (WES) in 551 individuals with CAKUT and identified a heterozygous de novo stop-gain variant in ZMYM2 in two different families with CAKUT. Through collaboration, we identified in total 14 different heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in ZMYM2 in 15 unrelated families. Most mutations occurred de novo, indicating possible interference with reproductive function. Human disease features are replicated in X. tropicalis larvae with morpholino knockdowns, in which expression of truncated ZMYM2 proteins, based on individual mutations, failed to rescue renal and craniofacial defects. Moreover, heterozygous Zmym2-deficient mice recapitulated features of CAKUT with high penetrance. The ZMYM2 protein is a component of a transcriptional corepressor complex recently linked to the silencing of developmentally regulated endogenous retrovirus elements. Using protein-protein interaction assays, we show that ZMYM2 interacts with additional epigenetic silencing complexes, as well as confirming that it binds to FOXP1, a transcription factor that has also been linked to CAKUT. In summary, our findings establish that loss-of-function mutations of ZMYM2, and potentially that of other proteins in its interactome, as causes of human CAKUT, offering new routes for studying the pathogenesis of the disorder.
  • Den Hoed, J., & Fisher, S. E. (2020). Genetic pathways involved in human speech disorders. Current Opinion in Genetics & Development, 65, 103-111. doi:10.1016/j.gde.2020.05.012.
  • Doust, C., Gordon, S. D., Garden, N., Fisher, S. E., Martin, N. G., Bates, T. C., & Luciano, M. (2020). The association of dyslexia and developmental speech and language disorder candidate genes with reading and language abilities in adults. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 23(1), 22-32. doi:10.1017/thg.2020.7.

    Abstract

    Reading and language abilities are critical for educational achievement and success in adulthood. Variation in these traits is highly heritable, but the underlying genetic architecture is largely undiscovered. Genetic studies of reading and language skills traditionally focus on children with developmental disorders; however, much larger unselected adult samples are available, increasing power to identify associations with specific genetic variants of small effect size. We introduce an Australian adult population cohort (41.7–73.2 years of age, N = 1505) in which we obtained data using validated measures of several aspects of reading and language abilities. We performed genetic association analysis for a reading and spelling composite score, nonword reading (assessing phonological processing: a core component in learning to read), phonetic spelling, self-reported reading impairment and nonword repetition (a marker of language ability). Given the limited power in a sample of this size (~80% power to find a minimum effect size of 0.005), we focused on analyzing candidate genes that have been associated with dyslexia and developmental speech and language disorders in prior studies. In gene-based tests, FOXP2, a gene implicated in speech/language disorders, was associated with nonword repetition (p < .001), phonetic spelling (p = .002) and the reading and spelling composite score (p < .001). Gene-set analyses of candidate dyslexia and speech/language disorder genes were not significant. These findings contribute to the assessment of genetic associations in reading and language disorders, crucial for understanding their etiology and informing intervention strategies, and validate the approach of using unselected adult samples for gene discovery in language and reading.

    Additional information

    Supplementary materials
  • 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.
  • Henson, R. N., Suri, S., Knights, E., Rowe, J. B., Kievit, R. A., Lyall, D. M., Chan, D., Eising, E., & Fisher, S. E. (2020). Effect of apolipoprotein E polymorphism on cognition and brain in the Cambridge Centre for Ageing and Neuroscience cohort. Brain and Neuroscience Advances, 4: 2398212820961704. doi:10.1177/2398212820961704.

    Abstract

    Polymorphisms in the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene have been associated with individual differences in cognition, brain structure and brain function. For example, the ε4 allele has been associated with cognitive and brain impairment in old age and increased risk of dementia, while the ε2 allele has been claimed to be neuroprotective. According to the ‘antagonistic pleiotropy’ hypothesis, these polymorphisms have different effects across the lifespan, with ε4, for example, postulated to confer benefits on cognitive and brain functions earlier in life. In this stage 2 of the Registered Report – https://osf.io/bufc4, we report the results from the cognitive and brain measures in the Cambridge Centre for Ageing and Neuroscience cohort (www.cam-can.org). We investigated the antagonistic pleiotropy hypothesis by testing for allele-by-age interactions in approximately 600 people across the adult lifespan (18–88 years), on six outcome variables related to cognition, brain structure and brain function (namely, fluid intelligence, verbal memory, hippocampal grey-matter volume, mean diffusion within white matter and resting-state connectivity measured by both functional magnetic resonance imaging and magnetoencephalography). We found no evidence to support the antagonistic pleiotropy hypothesis. Indeed, Bayes factors supported the null hypothesis in all cases, except for the (linear) interaction between age and possession of the ε4 allele on fluid intelligence, for which the evidence for faster decline in older ages was ambiguous. Overall, these pre-registered analyses question the antagonistic pleiotropy of APOE polymorphisms, at least in healthy adults.

    Additional information

    supplementary material
  • Hildebrand, M. S., Jackson, V. E., Scerri, T. S., Van Reyk, O., Coleman, M., Braden, R., Turner, S., Rigbye, K. A., Boys, A., Barton, S., Webster, R., Fahey, M., Saunders, K., Parry-Fielder, B., Paxton, G., Hayman, M., Coman, D., Goel, H., Baxter, A., Ma, A. and 11 moreHildebrand, M. S., Jackson, V. E., Scerri, T. S., Van Reyk, O., Coleman, M., Braden, R., Turner, S., Rigbye, K. A., Boys, A., Barton, S., Webster, R., Fahey, M., Saunders, K., Parry-Fielder, B., Paxton, G., Hayman, M., Coman, D., Goel, H., Baxter, A., Ma, A., Davis, N., Reilly, S., Delatycki, M., Liégeois, F. J., Connelly, A., Gecz, J., Fisher, S. E., Amor, D. J., Scheffer, I. E., Bahlo, M., & Morgan, A. T. (2020). Severe childhood speech disorder: Gene discovery highlights transcriptional dysregulation. Neurology, 94(20), e2148-e2167. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000009441.

    Abstract

    Objective
    Determining the genetic basis of speech disorders provides insight into the neurobiology of
    human communication. Despite intensive investigation over the past 2 decades, the etiology of
    most speech disorders in children remains unexplained. To test the hypothesis that speech
    disorders have a genetic etiology, we performed genetic analysis of children with severe speech
    disorder, specifically childhood apraxia of speech (CAS).
    Methods
    Precise phenotyping together with research genome or exome analysis were performed on
    children referred with a primary diagnosis of CAS. Gene coexpression and gene set enrichment
    analyses were conducted on high-confidence gene candidates.
    Results
    Thirty-four probands ascertained for CAS were studied. In 11/34 (32%) probands, we identified
    highly plausible pathogenic single nucleotide (n = 10; CDK13, EBF3, GNAO1, GNB1,
    DDX3X, MEIS2, POGZ, SETBP1, UPF2, ZNF142) or copy number (n = 1; 5q14.3q21.1 locus)
    variants in novel genes or loci for CAS. Testing of parental DNA was available for 9 probands
    and confirmed that the variants had arisen de novo. Eight genes encode proteins critical for
    regulation of gene transcription, and analyses of transcriptomic data found CAS-implicated
    genes were highly coexpressed in the developing human brain.
    Conclusion
    We identify the likely genetic etiology in 11 patients with CAS and implicate 9 genes for the first
    time. We find that CAS is often a sporadic monogenic disorder, and highly genetically heterogeneous.
    Highly penetrant variants implicate shared pathways in broad transcriptional
    regulation, highlighting the key role of transcriptional regulation in normal speech development.
    CAS is a distinctive, socially debilitating clinical disorder, and understanding its
    molecular basis is the first step towards identifying precision medicine approaches.
  • Hofer, E., Roshchupkin, G. V., Adams, H. H. H., Knol, M. J., Lin, H., Li, S., Zare, H., Ahmad, S., Armstrong, N. J., Satizabal, C. L., Bernard, M., Bis, J. C., Gillespie, N. A., Luciano, M., Mishra, A., Scholz, M., Teumer, A., Xia, R., Jian, X., Mosley, T. H. and 79 moreHofer, E., Roshchupkin, G. V., Adams, H. H. H., Knol, M. J., Lin, H., Li, S., Zare, H., Ahmad, S., Armstrong, N. J., Satizabal, C. L., Bernard, M., Bis, J. C., Gillespie, N. A., Luciano, M., Mishra, A., Scholz, M., Teumer, A., Xia, R., Jian, X., Mosley, T. H., Saba, Y., Pirpamer, L., Seiler, S., Becker, J. T., Carmichael, O., Rotter, J. I., Psaty, B. M., Lopez, O. L., Amin, N., Van der Lee, S. J., Yang, Q., Himali, J. J., Maillard, P., Beiser, A. S., DeCarli, C., Karama, S., Lewis, L., Harris, M., Bastin, M. E., Deary, I. J., Witte, A. V., Beyer, F., Loeffler, M., Mather, K. A., Schofield, P. R., Thalamuthu, A., Kwok, J. B., Wright, M. J., Ames, D., Trollor, J., Jiang, J., Brodaty, H., Wen, W., Vernooij, M. W., Hofman, A., Uitterlinden, A. G., Niessen, W. J., Wittfeld, K., Bülow, R., Völker, U., Pausova, Z., Pike, G. B., Maingault, S., Crivello, F., Tzourio, C., Amouyel, P., Mazoyer, B., Neale, M. C., Franz, C. E., Lyons, M. J., Panizzon, M. S., Andreassen, O. A., Dale, A. M., Logue, M., Grasby, K. L., Jahanshad, N., Painter, J. N., Colodro-Conde, L., Bralten, J., Hibar, D. P., Lind, P. A., Pizzagalli, F., Stein, J. L., Thompson, P. M., Medland, S. E., ENIGMA-consortium, Sachdev, P. S., Kremen, W. S., Wardlaw, J. M., Villringer, A., Van Duijn, C. M., Grabe, H. J., Longstreth, W. T., Fornage, M., Paus, T., Debette, S., Ikram, M. A., Schmidt, H., Schmidt, R., & Seshadri, S. (2020). Genetic correlations and genome-wide associations of cortical structure in general population samples of 22,824 adults. Nature Communications, 11: 4796. doi:10.1038/s41467-020-18367-y.
  • 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, 1(1), 77-103. 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.
  • 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.

    Additional information

    Supplementary information
  • Sønderby, I. E., Gústafsson, Ó., Doan, N. T., Hibar, D. P., Martin-Brevet, S., Abdellaoui, A., Ames, D., Amunts, K., Andersson, M., Armstrong, N. J., Bernard, M., Blackburn, N., Blangero, J., Boomsma, D. I., Bralten, J., Brattbak, H.-R., Brodaty, H., Brouwer, R. M., Bülow, R., Calhoun, V. and 133 moreSønderby, I. E., Gústafsson, Ó., Doan, N. T., Hibar, D. P., Martin-Brevet, S., Abdellaoui, A., Ames, D., Amunts, K., Andersson, M., Armstrong, N. J., Bernard, M., Blackburn, N., Blangero, J., Boomsma, D. I., Bralten, J., Brattbak, H.-R., Brodaty, H., Brouwer, R. M., Bülow, R., Calhoun, V., Caspers, S., Cavalleri, G., Chen, C.-H., Cichon, S., Ciufolini, S., Corvin, A., Crespo-Facorro, B., Curran, J. E., Dale, A. M., Dalvie, S., Dazzan, P., De Geus, E. J. C., De Zubicaray, G. I., De Zwarte, S. M. C., Delanty, N., Den Braber, A., Desrivières, S., Donohoe, G., Draganski, B., Ehrlich, S., Espeseth, T., Fisher, S. E., Franke, B., Frouin, V., Fukunaga, M., Gareau, T., Glahn, D. C., Grabe, H., Groenewold, N. A., Haavik, J., Håberg, A., Hashimoto, R., Hehir-Kwa, J. Y., Heinz, A., Hillegers, M. H. J., Hoffmann, P., Holleran, L., Hottenga, J.-J., Hulshoff, H. E., Ikeda, M., Jahanshad, N., Jernigan, T., Jockwitz, C., Johansson, S., Jonsdottir, G. A., Jönsson, E. G., Kahn, R., Kaufmann, T., Kelly, S., Kikuchi, M., Knowles, E. E. M., Kolskår, K. K., Kwok, J. B., Le Hellard, S., Leu, C., Liu, J., Lundervold, A. J., Lundervold, A., Martin, N. G., Mather, K., Mathias, S. R., McCormack, M., McMahon, K. L., McRae, A., Milaneschi, Y., Moreau, C., Morris, D., Mothersill, D., Mühleisen, T. W., Murray, R., Nordvik, J. E., Nyberg, L., Olde Loohuis, L. M., Ophoff, R., Paus, T., Pausova, Z., Penninx, B., Peralta, J. M., Pike, B., Prieto, C., Pudas, S., Quinlan, E., Quintana, D. S., Reinbold, C. S., Reis Marques, T., Reymond, A., Richard, G., Rodriguez-Herreros, B., Roiz-Santiañez, R., Rokicki, J., Rucker, J., Sachdev, P., Sanders, A.-M., Sando, S. B., Schmaal, L., Schofield, P. R., Schork, A. J., Schumann, G., Shin, J., Shumskaya, E., Sisodiya, S., Steen, V. M., Stein, D. J., Steinberg, S., Strike, L., Teumer, A., Thalamuthu, A., Tordesillas-Gutierrez, D., Turner, J., Ueland, T., Uhlmann, A., Ulfarsson, M. O., Van 't Ent, D., Van der Meer, D., Van Haren, N. E. M., Vaskinn, A., Vassos, E., Walters, G. B., Wang, Y., Wen, W., Whelan, C. D., Wittfeld, K., Wright, M., Yamamori, H., Zayats, T., Agartz, I., Westlye, L. T., Jacquemont, S., Djurovic, S., Stefansson, H., Stefansson, K., Thompson, P., & Andreassen, O. A. (2020). Dose response of the 16p11.2 distal copy number variant on intracranial volume and basal ganglia. Molecular Psychiatry, 25, 584-602. doi:10.1038/s41380-018-0118-1.

    Abstract

    Carriers of large recurrent copy number variants (CNVs) have a higher risk of developing neurodevelopmental disorders. The 16p11.2 distal CNV predisposes carriers to e.g., autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia. We compared subcortical brain volumes of 12 16p11.2 distal deletion and 12 duplication carriers to 6882 non-carriers from the large-scale brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging collaboration, ENIGMA-CNV. After stringent CNV calling procedures, and standardized FreeSurfer image analysis, we found negative dose-response associations with copy number on intracranial volume and on regional caudate, pallidum and putamen volumes (β = −0.71 to −1.37; P < 0.0005). In an independent sample, consistent results were obtained, with significant effects in the pallidum (β = −0.95, P = 0.0042). The two data sets combined showed significant negative dose-response for the accumbens, caudate, pallidum, putamen and ICV (P = 0.0032, 8.9 × 10−6, 1.7 × 10−9, 3.5 × 10−12 and 1.0 × 10−4, respectively). Full scale IQ was lower in both deletion and duplication carriers compared to non-carriers. This is the first brain MRI study of the impact of the 16p11.2 distal CNV, and we demonstrate a specific effect on subcortical brain structures, suggesting a neuropathological pattern underlying the neurodevelopmental syndromes
  • 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.

    Additional information

    41398_2020_705_MOESM1_ESM.pdf
  • Thompson, P. A., Bishop, D. V. M., Eising, E., Fisher, S. E., & Newbury, D. F. (2020). Generalized Structured Component Analysis in candidate gene association studies: Applications and limitations [version 2; peer review: 3 approved]. Wellcome Open Research, 4: 142. doi:10.12688/wellcomeopenres.15396.2.

    Abstract

    Background: Generalized Structured Component Analysis (GSCA) is a component-based alternative to traditional covariance-based structural equation modelling. This method has previously been applied to test for association between candidate genes and clinical phenotypes, contrasting with traditional genetic association analyses that adopt univariate testing of many individual single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with correction for multiple testing.
    Methods: We first evaluate the ability of the GSCA method to replicate two previous findings from a genetics association study of developmental language disorders. We then present the results of a simulation study to test the validity of the GSCA method under more restrictive data conditions, using smaller sample sizes and larger numbers of SNPs than have previously been investigated. Finally, we compare GSCA performance against univariate association analysis conducted using PLINK v1.9.
    Results: Results from simulations show that power to detect effects depends not just on sample size, but also on the ratio of SNPs with effect to number of SNPs tested within a gene. Inclusion of many SNPs in a model dilutes true effects.
    Conclusions: We propose that GSCA is a useful method for replication studies, when candidate SNPs have been identified, but should not be used for exploratory analysis.

    Additional information

    data via OSF
  • Urbanus, B. H. A., Peter, S., Fisher, S. E., & De Zeeuw, C. I. (2020). Region-specific Foxp2 deletions in cortex, striatum or cerebellum cannot explain vocalization deficits observed in spontaneous global knockouts. Scientific Reports, 10: 21631. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-78531-8.

    Abstract

    FOXP2 has been identified as a gene related to speech in humans, based on rare mutations that yield significant impairments in speech at the level of both motor performance and language comprehension. Disruptions of the murine orthologue Foxp2 in mouse pups have been shown to interfere with production of ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs). However, it remains unclear which structures are responsible for these deficits. Here, we show that conditional knockout mice with selective Foxp2 deletions targeting the cerebral cortex, striatum or cerebellum, three key sites of motor control with robust neural gene expression, do not recapture the profile of pup USV deficits observed in mice with global disruptions of this gene. Moreover, we observed that global Foxp2 knockout pups show substantive reductions in USV production as well as an overproduction of short broadband noise “clicks”, which was not present in the brain region-specific knockouts. These data indicate that deficits of Foxp2 expression in the cortex, striatum or cerebellum cannot solely explain the disrupted vocalization behaviours in global Foxp2 knockouts. Our findings raise the possibility that the impact of Foxp2 disruption on USV is mediated at least in part by effects of this gene on the anatomical prerequisites for vocalizing.
  • Van der Meer, D., Sønderby, I. E., Kaufmann, T., Walters, G. B., Abdellaoui, A., Ames, D., Amunts, K., Andersson, M., Armstrong, N. J., Bernard, M., Blackburn, N. B., Blangero, J., Boomsma, D. I., Brodaty, H., Brouwer, R. M., Bülow, R., Cahn, W., Calhoun, V. D., Caspers, S., Cavalleri, G. L. and 112 moreVan der Meer, D., Sønderby, I. E., Kaufmann, T., Walters, G. B., Abdellaoui, A., Ames, D., Amunts, K., Andersson, M., Armstrong, N. J., Bernard, M., Blackburn, N. B., Blangero, J., Boomsma, D. I., Brodaty, H., Brouwer, R. M., Bülow, R., Cahn, W., Calhoun, V. D., Caspers, S., Cavalleri, G. L., Ching, C. R. K., Cichon, S., Ciufolini, S., Corvin, A., Crespo-Facorro, B., Curran, J. E., Dalvie, S., Dazzan, P., De Geus, E. J. C., De Zubicaray, G. I., De Zwarte, S. M. C., Delanty, N., Den Braber, A., Desrivieres, S., Di Forti, M., Doherty, J. L., Donohoe, G., Ehrlich, S., Eising, E., Espeseth, T., Fisher, S. E., Fladby, T., Frei, O., Frouin, V., Fukunaga, M., Gareau, T., Glahn, D. C., Grabe, H. J., Groenewold, N. A., Gústafsson, Ó., Haavik, J., Haberg, A. K., Hashimoto, R., Hehir-Kwa, J. Y., Hibar, D. P., Hillegers, M. H. J., Hoffmann, P., Holleran, L., Hottenga, J.-J., Hulshoff Pol, H. E., Ikeda, M., Jacquemont, S., Jahanshad, N., Jockwitz, C., Johansson, S., Jönsson, E. G., Kikuchi, M., Knowles, E. E. M., Kwok, J. B., Le Hellard, S., Linden, D. E. J., Liu, J., Lundervold, A., Lundervold, A. J., Martin, N. G., Mather, K. A., Mathias, S. R., McMahon, K. L., McRae, A. F., Medland, S. E., Moberget, T., Moreau, C., Morris, D. W., Mühleisen, T. W., Murray, R. M., Nordvik, J. E., Nyberg, L., Olde Loohuis, L. M., Ophoff, R. A., Owen, M. J., Paus, T., Pausova, Z., Peralta, J. M., Pike, B., Prieto, C., Quinlan, E. B., Reinbold, C. S., Reis Marques, T., Rucker, J. J. H., Sachdev, P. S., Sando, S. B., Schofield, P. R., Schork, A. J., Schumann, G., Shin, J., Shumskaya, E., Silva, A. I., Sisodiya, S. M., Steen, V. M., Stein, D. J., Strike, L. T., Tamnes, C. K., Teumer, A., Thalamuthu, A., Tordesillas-Gutiérrez, D., Uhlmann, A., Úlfarsson, M. Ö., Van 't Ent, D., Van den Bree, M. B. M., Vassos, E., Wen, W., Wittfeld, K., Wright, M. J., Zayats, T., Dale, A. M., Djurovic, S., Agartz, I., Westlye, L. T., Stefánsson, H., Stefánsson, K., Thompson, P. M., & Andreassen, O. A. (2020). Association of copy number variation of the 15q11.2 BP1-BP2 region with cortical and subcortical morphology and cognition. JAMA Psychiatry, 77(4), 420-430. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2019.3779.

    Abstract

    Importance Recurrent microdeletions and duplications in the genomic region 15q11.2 between breakpoints 1 (BP1) and 2 (BP2) are associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. These structural variants are present in 0.5% to 1.0% of the population, making 15q11.2 BP1-BP2 the site of the most prevalent known pathogenic copy number variation (CNV). It is unknown to what extent this CNV influences brain structure and affects cognitive abilities.

    Objective To determine the association of the 15q11.2 BP1-BP2 deletion and duplication CNVs with cortical and subcortical brain morphology and cognitive task performance.

    Design, Setting, and Participants In this genetic association study, T1-weighted brain magnetic resonance imaging were combined with genetic data from the ENIGMA-CNV consortium and the UK Biobank, with a replication cohort from Iceland. In total, 203 deletion carriers, 45 247 noncarriers, and 306 duplication carriers were included. Data were collected from August 2015 to April 2019, and data were analyzed from September 2018 to September 2019.

    Main Outcomes and Measures The associations of the CNV with global and regional measures of surface area and cortical thickness as well as subcortical volumes were investigated, correcting for age, age2, sex, scanner, and intracranial volume. Additionally, measures of cognitive ability were analyzed in the full UK Biobank cohort.

    Results Of 45 756 included individuals, the mean (SD) age was 55.8 (18.3) years, and 23 754 (51.9%) were female. Compared with noncarriers, deletion carriers had a lower surface area (Cohen d = −0.41; SE, 0.08; P = 4.9 × 10−8), thicker cortex (Cohen d = 0.36; SE, 0.07; P = 1.3 × 10−7), and a smaller nucleus accumbens (Cohen d = −0.27; SE, 0.07; P = 7.3 × 10−5). There was also a significant negative dose response on cortical thickness (β = −0.24; SE, 0.05; P = 6.8 × 10−7). Regional cortical analyses showed a localization of the effects to the frontal, cingulate, and parietal lobes. Further, cognitive ability was lower for deletion carriers compared with noncarriers on 5 of 7 tasks.

    Conclusions and Relevance These findings, from the largest CNV neuroimaging study to date, provide evidence that 15q11.2 BP1-BP2 structural variation is associated with brain morphology and cognition, with deletion carriers being particularly affected. The pattern of results fits with known molecular functions of genes in the 15q11.2 BP1-BP2 region and suggests involvement of these genes in neuronal plasticity. These neurobiological effects likely contribute to the association of this CNV with neurodevelopmental disorders.
  • Van der Meer, D., Rokicki, J., Kaufmann, T., Córdova-Palomera, A., Moberget, T., Alnæs, D., Bettella, F., Frei, O., Trung Doan, N., Sønderby, I. E., Smeland, O. B., Agartz, I., Bertolino, A., Bralten, J., Brandt, C. L., Buitelaar, J. K., Djurovic, S., Van Donkelaar, M. M. J., Dørum, E. S., Espeseth, T. and 34 moreVan der Meer, D., Rokicki, J., Kaufmann, T., Córdova-Palomera, A., Moberget, T., Alnæs, D., Bettella, F., Frei, O., Trung Doan, N., Sønderby, I. E., Smeland, O. B., Agartz, I., Bertolino, A., Bralten, J., Brandt, C. L., Buitelaar, J. K., Djurovic, S., Van Donkelaar, M. M. J., Dørum, E. S., Espeseth, T., Faraone, S. V., Fernandez, G., Fisher, S. E., Franke, B., Haatveit, B., Hartman, C., Hoekstra, P. J., Haberg, A. K., Jönsson, E. G., Kolskår, K. K., Le Hellard, S., Lund, M. J., Lundervold, A. J., Lundervold, A., Melle, I., Monereo Sánchez, J., Norbom, L. C., Nordvik, J. E., Nyberg, L., Oosterlaan, J., Papalino, M., Papassotiropoulos, A., Pergola, G., De Quervain, D. J. F., Richard, G., Sanders, A.-M., Selvaggi, P., Shumskaya, E., Steen, V. M., Tønnesen, S., Ulrichsen, K. M., Zwiers, M., Andreassen, O. A., & Westlye, L. T. (2020). Brain scans from 21297 individuals reveal the genetic architecture of hippocampal subfield volumes. Molecular Psychiatry, 25, 3053-3065. doi:10.1038/s41380-018-0262-7.

    Abstract

    The hippocampus is a heterogeneous structure, comprising histologically distinguishable subfields. These subfields are differentially involved in memory consolidation, spatial navigation and pattern separation, complex functions often impaired in individuals with brain disorders characterized by reduced hippocampal volume, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and schizophrenia. Given the structural and functional heterogeneity of the hippocampal formation, we sought to characterize the subfields’ genetic architecture. T1-weighted brain scans (n = 21,297, 16 cohorts) were processed with the hippocampal subfields algorithm in FreeSurfer v6.0. We ran a genome-wide association analysis on each subfield, co-varying for whole hippocampal volume. We further calculated the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based heritability of 12 subfields, as well as their genetic correlation with each other, with other structural brain features and with AD and schizophrenia. All outcome measures were corrected for age, sex and intracranial volume. We found 15 unique genome-wide significant loci across six subfields, of which eight had not been previously linked to the hippocampus. Top SNPs were mapped to genes associated with neuronal differentiation, locomotor behaviour, schizophrenia and AD. The volumes of all the subfields were estimated to be heritable (h2 from 0.14 to 0.27, all p < 1 × 10–16) and clustered together based on their genetic correlations compared with other structural brain features. There was also evidence of genetic overlap of subicular subfield volumes with schizophrenia. We conclude that hippocampal subfields have partly distinct genetic determinants associated with specific biological processes and traits. Taking into account this specificity may increase our understanding of hippocampal neurobiology and associated pathologies.

    Additional information

    41380_2018_262_MOESM1_ESM.docx
  • Burenkova, O. V., & Fisher, S. E. (2019). Genetic insights into the neurobiology of speech and language. In E. Grigorenko, Y. Shtyrov, & P. McCardle (Eds.), All About Language: Science, Theory, and Practice. Baltimore, MD: Paul Brookes Publishing, Inc.
  • 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.

    Additional information

    gbb12572-sup-0001-AppendixS1.docx
  • Castells-Nobau, A., Eidhof, I., Fenckova, M., Brenman-Suttner, D. B., Scheffer-de Gooyert, J. M., Christine, S., Schellevis, R. L., Van der Laan, K., Quentin, C., Van Ninhuijs, L., Hofmann, F., Ejsmont, R., Fisher, S. E., Kramer, J. M., Sigrist, S. J., Simon, A. F., & Schenck, A. (2019). Conserved regulation of neurodevelopmental processes and behavior by FoxP in Drosophila. PLoS One, 14(2): e211652. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0211652.

    Abstract

    FOXP proteins form a subfamily of evolutionarily conserved transcription factors involved in the development and functioning of several tissues, including the central nervous system. In humans, mutations in FOXP1 and FOXP2 have been implicated in cognitive deficits including intellectual disability and speech disorders. Drosophila exhibits a single ortholog, called FoxP, but due to a lack of characterized mutants, our understanding of the gene remains poor. Here we show that the dimerization property required for mammalian FOXP function is conserved in Drosophila. In flies, FoxP is enriched in the adult brain, showing strong expression in ~1000 neurons of cholinergic, glutamatergic and GABAergic nature. We generate Drosophila loss-of-function mutants and UAS-FoxP transgenic lines for ectopic expression, and use them to characterize FoxP function in the nervous system. At the cellular level, we demonstrate that Drosophila FoxP is required in larvae for synaptic morphogenesis at axonal terminals of the neuromuscular junction and for dendrite development of dorsal multidendritic sensory neurons. In the developing brain, we find that FoxP plays important roles in α-lobe mushroom body formation. Finally, at a behavioral level, we show that Drosophila FoxP is important for locomotion, habituation learning and social space behavior of adult flies. Our work shows that Drosophila FoxP is important for regulating several neurodevelopmental processes and behaviors that are related to human disease or vertebrate disease model phenotypes. This suggests a high degree of functional conservation with vertebrate FOXP orthologues and established flies as a model system for understanding FOXP related pathologies.
  • 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.

    Additional information

    Eising_etal_2018sup.pdf
  • Fisher, S. E., & Tilot, A. K. (2019). Bridging senses: Novel insights from synaesthesia. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences, 374: 20190022. doi:10.1098/rstb.2019.0022.
  • Fisher, S. E., & Tilot, A. K. (Eds.). (2019). Bridging senses: Novel insights from synaesthesia [Special Issue]. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences, 374.
  • Fisher, S. E. (2019). Human genetics: The evolving story of FOXP2. Current Biology, 29(2), R65-R67. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2018.11.047.

    Abstract

    FOXP2 mutations cause a speech and language disorder, raising interest in potential roles of this gene in human evolution. A new study re-evaluates genomic variation at the human FOXP2 locus but finds no evidence of recent adaptive evolution.
  • Fisher, S. E. (2019). Key issues and future directions: Genes and language. In P. Hagoort (Ed.), Human language: From genes and brain to behavior (pp. 609-620). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • French, C. A., Vinueza Veloz, M. F., Zhou, K., Peter, S., Fisher, S. E., Costa, R. M., & De Zeeuw, C. I. (2019). Differential effects of Foxp2 disruption in distinct motor circuits. Molecular Psychiatry, 24, 447-462. doi:10.1038/s41380-018-0199-x.

    Abstract

    Disruptions of the FOXP2 gene cause a speech and language disorder involving difficulties in sequencing orofacial movements. FOXP2 is expressed in cortico-striatal and cortico-cerebellar circuits important for fine motor skills, and affected individuals show abnormalities in these brain regions. We selectively disrupted Foxp2 in the cerebellar Purkinje cells, striatum or cortex of mice and assessed the effects on skilled motor behaviour using an operant lever-pressing task. Foxp2 loss in each region impacted behaviour differently, with striatal and Purkinje cell disruptions affecting the variability and the speed of lever-press sequences, respectively. Mice lacking Foxp2 in Purkinje cells showed a prominent phenotype involving slowed lever pressing as well as deficits in skilled locomotion. In vivo recordings from Purkinje cells uncovered an increased simple spike firing rate and decreased modulation of firing during limb movements. This was caused by increased intrinsic excitability rather than changes in excitatory or inhibitory inputs. Our findings show that Foxp2 can modulate different aspects of motor behaviour in distinct brain regions, and uncover an unknown role for Foxp2 in the modulation of Purkinje cell activity that severely impacts skilled movements.
  • 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.
  • Gunz, P., Tilot, A. K., Wittfeld, K., Teumer, A., Shapland, C. Y., Van Erp, T. G. M., Dannemann, M., Vernot, B., Neubauer, S., Guadalupe, T., Fernandez, G., Brunner, H., Enard, W., Fallon, J., Hosten, N., Völker, U., Profico, A., Di Vincenzo, F., Manzi, G., Kelso, J. and 7 moreGunz, P., Tilot, A. K., Wittfeld, K., Teumer, A., Shapland, C. Y., Van Erp, T. G. M., Dannemann, M., Vernot, B., Neubauer, S., Guadalupe, T., Fernandez, G., Brunner, H., Enard, W., Fallon, J., Hosten, N., Völker, U., Profico, A., Di Vincenzo, F., Manzi, G., Kelso, J., St Pourcain, B., Hublin, J.-J., Franke, B., Pääbo, S., Macciardi, F., Grabe, H. J., & Fisher, S. E. (2019). Neandertal introgression sheds light on modern human endocranial globularity. Current Biology, 29(1), 120-127. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2018.10.065.

    Abstract

    One of the features that distinguishes modern humans from our extinct relatives
    and ancestors is a globular shape of the braincase [1-4]. As the endocranium
    closely mirrors the outer shape of the brain, these differences might reflect
    altered neural architecture [4,5]. However, in the absence of fossil brain tissue the
    underlying neuroanatomical changes as well as their genetic bases remain
    elusive. To better understand the biological foundations of modern human
    endocranial shape, we turn to our closest extinct relatives, the Neandertals.
    Interbreeding between modern humans and Neandertals has resulted in
    introgressed fragments of Neandertal DNA in the genomes of present-day non-
    Africans [6,7]. Based on shape analyses of fossil skull endocasts, we derive a
    measure of endocranial globularity from structural magnetic resonance imaging
    (MRI) scans of thousands of modern humans, and study the effects of
    introgressed fragments of Neandertal DNA on this phenotype. We find that
    Neandertal alleles on chromosomes 1 and 18 are associated with reduced
    endocranial globularity. These alleles influence expression of two nearby genes,
    UBR4 and PHLPP1, which are involved in neurogenesis and myelination,
    respectively. Our findings show how integration of fossil skull data with archaic
    genomics and neuroimaging can suggest developmental mechanisms that may
    contribute to the unique modern human endocranial shape.

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  • Haworth, S., Shapland, C. Y., Hayward, C., Prins, B. P., Felix, J. F., Medina-Gomez, C., Rivadeneira, F., Wang, C., Ahluwalia, T. S., Vrijheid, M., Guxens, M., Sunyer, J., Tachmazidou, I., Walter, K., Iotchkova, V., Jackson, A., Cleal, L., Huffmann, J., Min, J. L., Sass, L. and 15 moreHaworth, S., Shapland, C. Y., Hayward, C., Prins, B. P., Felix, J. F., Medina-Gomez, C., Rivadeneira, F., Wang, C., Ahluwalia, T. S., Vrijheid, M., Guxens, M., Sunyer, J., Tachmazidou, I., Walter, K., Iotchkova, V., Jackson, A., Cleal, L., Huffmann, J., Min, J. L., Sass, L., Timmers, P. R. H. J., UK10K consortium, Davey Smith, G., Fisher, S. E., Wilson, J. F., Cole, T. J., Fernandez-Orth, D., Bønnelykke, K., Bisgaard, H., Pennell, C. E., Jaddoe, V. W. V., Dedoussis, G., Timpson, N. J., Zeggini, E., Vitart, V., & St Pourcain, B. (2019). Low-frequency variation in TP53 has large effects on head circumference and intracranial volume. Nature Communications, 10: 357. doi:10.1038/s41467-018-07863-x.

    Abstract

    Cranial growth and development is a complex process which affects the closely related traits of head circumference (HC) and intracranial volume (ICV). The underlying genetic influences affecting these traits during the transition from childhood to adulthood are little understood, but might include both age-specific genetic influences and low-frequency genetic variation. To understand these influences, we model the developmental genetic architecture of HC, showing this is genetically stable and correlated with genetic determinants of ICV. Investigating up to 46,000 children and adults of European descent, we identify association with final HC and/or final ICV+HC at 9 novel common and low-frequency loci, illustrating that genetic variation from a wide allele frequency spectrum contributes to cranial growth. The largest effects are reported for low-frequency variants within TP53, with 0.5 cm wider heads in increaser-allele carriers versus non-carriers during mid-childhood, suggesting a previously unrecognized role of TP53 transcripts in human cranial development.

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    Supplementary Information
  • Ioumpa, K., Graham, S. A., Clausner, T., Fisher, S. E., Van Lier, R., & Van Leeuwen, T. M. (2019). Enhanced self-reported affect and prosocial behaviour without differential physiological responses in mirror-sensory synaesthesia. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences, 374: 20190395. doi:10.1098/rstb.2019.0395.

    Abstract

    Mirror-sensory synaesthetes mirror the pain or touch that they observe in other people on their own bodies. This type of synaesthesia has been associated with enhanced empathy. We investigated whether the enhanced empathy of people with mirror-sensory synesthesia influences the experience of situations involving touch or pain and whether it affects their prosocial decision making. Mirror-sensory synaesthetes (N = 18, all female), verified with a touch-interference paradigm, were compared with a similar number of age-matched control individuals (all female). Participants viewed arousing images depicting pain or touch; we recorded subjective valence and arousal ratings, and physiological responses, hypothesizing more extreme reactions in synaesthetes. The subjective impact of positive and negative images was stronger in synaesthetes than in control participants; the stronger the reported synaesthesia, the more extreme the picture ratings. However, there was no evidence for differential physiological or hormonal responses to arousing pictures. Prosocial decision making was assessed with an economic game assessing altruism, in which participants had to divide money between themselves and a second player. Mirror-sensory synaesthetes donated more money than non-synaesthetes, showing enhanced prosocial behaviour, and also scored higher on the Interpersonal Reactivity Index as a measure of empathy. Our study demonstrates the subjective impact of mirror-sensory synaesthesia and its stimulating influence on prosocial behaviour.

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  • 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.
  • Satizabal, C. L., Adams, H. H. H., Hibar, D. P., White, C. C., Knol, M. J., Stein, J. L., Scholz, M., Sargurupremraj, M., Jahanshad, N., Roshchupkin, G. V., Smith, A. V., Bis, J. C., Jian, X., Luciano, M., Hofer, E., Teumer, A., Van der Lee, S. J., Yang, J., Yanek, L. R., Lee, T. V. and 271 moreSatizabal, C. L., Adams, H. H. H., Hibar, D. P., White, C. C., Knol, M. J., Stein, J. L., Scholz, M., Sargurupremraj, M., Jahanshad, N., Roshchupkin, G. V., Smith, A. V., Bis, J. C., Jian, X., Luciano, M., Hofer, E., Teumer, A., Van der Lee, S. J., Yang, J., Yanek, L. R., Lee, T. V., Li, S., Hu, Y., Koh, J. Y., Eicher, J. D., Desrivières, S., Arias-Vasquez, A., Chauhan, G., Athanasiu, L., Renteria, M. E., Kim, S., Höhn, D., Armstrong, N. J., Chen, Q., Holmes, A. J., Den Braber, A., Kloszewska, I., Andersson, M., Espeseth, T., Grimm, O., Abramovic, L., Alhusaini, S., Milaneschi, Y., Papmeyer, M., Axelsson, T., Ehrlich, S., Roiz-Santiañez, R., Kraemer, B., Håberg, A. K., Jones, H. J., Pike, G. B., Stein, D. J., Stevens, A., Bralten, J., Vernooij, M. W., Harris, T. B., Filippi, I., Witte, A. V., Guadalupe, T., Wittfeld, K., Mosley, T. H., Becker, J. T., Doan, N. T., Hagenaars, S. P., Saba, Y., Cuellar-Partida, G., Amin, N., Hilal, S., Nho, K., Karbalai, N., Arfanakis, K., Becker, D. M., Ames, D., Goldman, A. L., Lee, P. H., Boomsma, D. I., Lovestone, S., Giddaluru, S., Le Hellard, S., Mattheisen, M., Bohlken, M. M., Kasperaviciute, D., Schmaal, L., Lawrie, S. M., Agartz, I., Walton, E., Tordesillas-Gutierrez, D., Davies, G. E., Shin, J., Ipser, J. C., Vinke, L. N., Hoogman, M., Jia, T., Burkhardt, R., Klein, M., Crivello, F., Janowitz, D., Carmichael, O., Haukvik, U. K., Aribisala, B. S., Schmidt, H., Strike, L. T., Cheng, C.-Y., Risacher, S. L., Pütz, B., Fleischman, D. A., Assareh, A. A., Mattay, V. S., Buckner, R. L., Mecocci, P., Dale, A. M., Cichon, S., Boks, M. P., Matarin, M., Penninx, B. W. J. H., Calhoun, V. D., Chakravarty, M. M., Marquand, A., Macare, C., Masouleh, S. K., Oosterlaan, J., Amouyel, P., Hegenscheid, K., Rotter, J. I., Schork, A. J., Liewald, D. C. M., De Zubicaray, G. I., Wong, T. Y., Shen, L., Sämann, P. G., Brodaty, H., Roffman, J. L., De Geus, E. J. C., Tsolaki, M., Erk, S., Van Eijk, K. R., Cavalleri, G. L., Van der Wee, N. J. A., McIntosh, A. M., Gollub, R. L., Bulayeva, K. B., Bernard, M., Richards, J. S., Himali, J. J., Loeffler, M., Rommelse, N., Hoffmann, W., Westlye, L. T., Valdés Hernández, M. C., Hansell, N. K., Van Erp, T. G. M., Wolf, C., Kwok, J. B. J., Vellas, B., Heinz, A., Olde Loohuis, L. M., Delanty, N., Ho, B.-C., Ching, C. R. K., Shumskaya, E., Singh, B., Hofman, A., Van der Meer, D., Homuth, G., Psaty, B. M., Bastin, M., Montgomery, G. W., Foroud, T. M., Reppermund, S., Hottenga, J.-J., Simmons, A., Meyer-Lindenberg, A., Cahn, W., Whelan, C. D., Van Donkelaar, M. M. J., Yang, Q., Hosten, N., Green, R. C., Thalamuthu, A., Mohnke, S., Hulshoff Pol, H. E., Lin, H., Jack Jr., C. R., Schofield, P. R., Mühleisen, T. W., Maillard, P., Potkin, S. G., Wen, W., Fletcher, E., Toga, A. W., Gruber, O., Huentelman, M., Smith, G. D., Launer, L. J., Nyberg, L., Jönsson, E. G., Crespo-Facorro, B., Koen, N., Greve, D., Uitterlinden, A. G., Weinberger, D. R., Steen, V. M., Fedko, I. O., Groenewold, N. A., Niessen, W. J., Toro, R., Tzourio, C., Longstreth Jr., W. T., Ikram, M. K., Smoller, J. W., Van Tol, M.-J., Sussmann, J. E., Paus, T., Lemaître, H., Schroeter, M. L., Mazoyer, B., Andreassen, O. A., Holsboer, F., Depondt, C., Veltman, D. J., Turner, J. A., Pausova, Z., Schumann, G., Van Rooij, D., Djurovic, S., Deary, I. J., McMahon, K. L., Müller-Myhsok, B., Brouwer, R. M., Soininen, H., Pandolfo, M., Wassink, T. H., Cheung, J. W., Wolfers, T., Martinot, J.-L., Zwiers, M. P., Nauck, M., Melle, I., Martin, N. G., Kanai, R., Westman, E., Kahn, R. S., Sisodiya, S. M., White, T., Saremi, A., Van Bokhoven, H., Brunner, H. G., Völzke, H., Wright, M. J., Van 't Ent, D., Nöthen, M. M., Ophoff, R. A., Buitelaar, J. K., Fernández, G., Sachdev, P. S., Rietschel, M., Van Haren, N. E. M., Fisher, S. E., Beiser, A. S., Francks, C., Saykin, A. J., Mather, K. A., Romanczuk-Seiferth, N., Hartman, C. A., DeStefano, A. L., Heslenfeld, D. J., Weiner, M. W., Walter, H., Hoekstra, P. J., Nyquist, P. A., Franke, B., Bennett, D. A., Grabe, H. J., Johnson, A. D., Chen, C., Van Duijn, C. M., Lopez, O. L., Fornage, M., Wardlaw, J. A., Schmidt, R., DeCarli, C., De Jager, P. L., Villringer, A., Debette, S., Gudnason, V., Medland, S. E., Shulman, J. M., Thompson, P. M., Seshadri, S., & Ikram, M. A. (2019). Genetic architecture of subcortical brain structures in 38,854 individuals worldwide. Nature Genetics, 51, 1624-1636. doi:10.1038/s41588-019-0511-y.

    Abstract

    Subcortical brain structures are integral to motion, consciousness, emotions and learning. We identified common genetic variation related to the volumes of the nucleus accumbens, amygdala, brainstem, caudate nucleus, globus pallidus, putamen and thalamus, using genome-wide association analyses in almost 40,000 individuals from CHARGE, ENIGMA and UK Biobank. We show that variability in subcortical volumes is heritable, and identify 48 significantly associated loci (40 novel at the time of analysis). Annotation of these loci by utilizing gene expression, methylation and neuropathological data identified 199 genes putatively implicated in neurodevelopment, synaptic signaling, axonal transport, apoptosis, inflammation/infection and susceptibility to neurological disorders. This set of genes is significantly enriched for Drosophila orthologs associated with neurodevelopmental phenotypes, suggesting evolutionarily conserved mechanisms. Our findings uncover novel biology and potential drug targets underlying brain development and disease.
  • Snijders Blok, L., Kleefstra, T., Venselaar, H., Maas, S., Kroes, H. Y., Lachmeijer, A. M. A., Van Gassen, K. L. I., Firth, H. V., Tomkins, S., Bodek, S., The DDD Study, Õunap, K., Wojcik, M. H., Cunniff, C., Bergstrom, K., Powis, Z., Tang, S., Shinde, D. N., Au, C., Iglesias, A. D., Izumi, K. and 18 moreSnijders Blok, L., Kleefstra, T., Venselaar, H., Maas, S., Kroes, H. Y., Lachmeijer, A. M. A., Van Gassen, K. L. I., Firth, H. V., Tomkins, S., Bodek, S., The DDD Study, Õunap, K., Wojcik, M. H., Cunniff, C., Bergstrom, K., Powis, Z., Tang, S., Shinde, D. N., Au, C., Iglesias, A. D., Izumi, K., Leonard, J., Tayoun, A. A., Baker, S. W., Tartaglia, M., Niceta, M., Dentici, M. L., Okamoto, N., Miyake, N., Matsumoto, N., Vitobello, A., Faivre, L., Philippe, C., Gilissen, C., Wiel, L., Pfundt, R., Derizioti, P., Brunner, H. G., & Fisher, S. E. (2019). De novo variants disturbing the transactivation capacity of POU3F3 cause a characteristic neurodevelopmental disorder. The American Journal of Human Genetics, 105(2), 403-412. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.06.007.

    Abstract

    POU3F3, also referred to as Brain-1, is a well-known transcription factor involved in the development of the central nervous system, but it has not previously been associated with a neurodevelopmental disorder. Here, we report the identification of 19 individuals with heterozygous POU3F3 disruptions, most of which are de novo variants. All individuals had developmental delays and/or intellectual disability and impairments in speech and language skills. Thirteen individuals had characteristic low-set, prominent, and/or cupped ears. Brain abnormalities were observed in seven of eleven MRI reports. POU3F3 is an intronless gene, insensitive to nonsense-mediated decay, and 13 individuals carried protein-truncating variants. All truncating variants that we tested in cellular models led to aberrant subcellular localization of the encoded protein. Luciferase assays demonstrated negative effects of these alleles on transcriptional activation of a reporter with a FOXP2-derived binding motif. In addition to the loss-of-function variants, five individuals had missense variants that clustered at specific positions within the functional domains, and one small in-frame deletion was identified. Two missense variants showed reduced transactivation capacity in our assays, whereas one variant displayed gain-of-function effects, suggesting a distinct pathophysiological mechanism. In bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) interaction assays, all the truncated POU3F3 versions that we tested had significantly impaired dimerization capacities, whereas all missense variants showed unaffected dimerization with wild-type POU3F3. Taken together, our identification and functional cell-based analyses of pathogenic variants in POU3F3, coupled with a clinical characterization, implicate disruptions of this gene in a characteristic neurodevelopmental disorder.
  • Tilot, A. K., Vino, A., Kucera, K. S., Carmichael, D. A., Van den Heuvel, L., Den Hoed, J., Sidoroff-Dorso, A. V., Campbell, A., Porteous, D. J., St Pourcain, B., Van Leeuwen, T. M., Ward, J., Rouw, R., Simner, J., & Fisher, S. E. (2019). Investigating genetic links between grapheme-colour synaesthesia and neuropsychiatric traits. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences, 374: 20190026. doi:10.1098/rstb.2019.0026.

    Abstract

    Synaesthesia is a neurological phenomenon affecting perception, where triggering stimuli (e.g. letters and numbers) elicit unusual secondary sensory experiences (e.g. colours). Family-based studies point to a role for genetic factors in the development of this trait. However, the contributions of common genomic variation to synaesthesia have not yet been investigated. Here, we present the SynGenes cohort, the largest genotyped collection of unrelated people with grapheme–colour synaesthesia (n = 723). Synaesthesia has been associated with a range of other neuropsychological traits, including enhanced memory and mental imagery, as well as greater sensory sensitivity. Motivated by the prior literature on putative trait overlaps, we investigated polygenic scores derived from published genome-wide scans of schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), comparing our SynGenes cohort to 2181 non-synaesthetic controls. We found a very slight association between schizophrenia polygenic scores and synaesthesia (Nagelkerke's R2 = 0.0047, empirical p = 0.0027) and no significant association for scores related to ASD (Nagelkerke's R2 = 0.00092, empirical p = 0.54) or body mass index (R2 = 0.00058, empirical p = 0.60), included as a negative control. As sample sizes for studying common genomic variation continue to increase, genetic investigations of the kind reported here may yield novel insights into the shared biology between synaesthesia and other traits, to complement findings from neuropsychology and brain imaging.

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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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  • Udden, J., Hulten, A., Bendt, K., Mineroff, Z., Kucera, K. S., Vino, A., Fedorenko, E., Hagoort, P., & Fisher, S. E. (2019). Towards robust functional neuroimaging genetics of cognition. Journal of Neuroscience, 39(44), 8778-8787. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0888-19.2019.

    Abstract

    A commonly held assumption in cognitive neuroscience is that, because measures of human brain function are closer to underlying biology than distal indices of behavior/cognition, they hold more promise for uncovering genetic pathways. Supporting this view is an influential fMRI-based study of sentence reading/listening by Pinel et al. (2012), who reported that common DNA variants in specific candidate genes were associated with altered neural activation in language-related regions of healthy individuals that carried them. In particular, different single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of FOXP2 correlated with variation in task-based activation in left inferior frontal and precentral gyri, whereas a SNP at the KIAA0319/TTRAP/THEM2 locus was associated with variable functional asymmetry of the superior temporal sulcus. Here, we directly test each claim using a closely matched neuroimaging genetics approach in independent cohorts comprising 427 participants, four times larger than the original study of 94 participants. Despite demonstrating power to detect associations with substantially smaller effect sizes than those of the original report, we do not replicate any of the reported associations. Moreover, formal Bayesian analyses reveal substantial to strong evidence in support of the null hypothesis (no effect). We highlight key aspects of the original investigation, common to functional neuroimaging genetics studies, which could have yielded elevated false-positive rates. Genetic accounts of individual differences in cognitive functional neuroimaging are likely to be as complex as behavioral/cognitive tests, involving many common genetic variants, each of tiny effect. Reliable identification of true biological signals requires large sample sizes, power calculations, and validation in independent cohorts with equivalent paradigms.

    SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT A pervasive idea in neuroscience is that neuroimaging-based measures of brain function, being closer to underlying neurobiology, are more amenable for uncovering links to genetics. This is a core assumption of prominent studies that associate common DNA variants with altered activations in task-based fMRI, despite using samples (10–100 people) that lack power for detecting the tiny effect sizes typical of genetically complex traits. Here, we test central findings from one of the most influential prior studies. Using matching paradigms and substantially larger samples, coupled to power calculations and formal Bayesian statistics, our data strongly refute the original findings. We demonstrate that neuroimaging genetics with task-based fMRI should be subject to the same rigorous standards as studies of other complex traits.
  • Verhoef, E., Demontis, D., Burgess, S., Shapland, C. Y., Dale, P. S., Okbay, A., Neale, B. M., Faraone, S. V., iPSYCH-Broad-PGC ADHD Consortium, Stergiakouli, E., Davey Smith, G., Fisher, S. E., Borglum, A., & St Pourcain, B. (2019). Disentangling polygenic associations between Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, educational attainment, literacy and language. Translational Psychiatry, 9: 35. doi:10.1038/s41398-018-0324-2.

    Abstract

    Interpreting polygenic overlap between ADHD and both literacy-related and language-related impairments is challenging as genetic associations might be influenced by indirectly shared genetic factors. Here, we investigate genetic overlap between polygenic ADHD risk and multiple literacy-related and/or language-related abilities (LRAs), as assessed in UK children (N ≤ 5919), accounting for genetically predictable educational attainment (EA). Genome-wide summary statistics on clinical ADHD and years of schooling were obtained from large consortia (N ≤ 326,041). Our findings show that ADHD-polygenic scores (ADHD-PGS) were inversely associated with LRAs in ALSPAC, most consistently with reading-related abilities, and explained ≤1.6% phenotypic variation. These polygenic links were then dissected into both ADHD effects shared with and independent of EA, using multivariable regressions (MVR). Conditional on EA, polygenic ADHD risk remained associated with multiple reading and/or spelling abilities, phonemic awareness and verbal intelligence, but not listening comprehension and non-word repetition. Using conservative ADHD-instruments (P-threshold < 5 × 10−8), this corresponded, for example, to a 0.35 SD decrease in pooled reading performance per log-odds in ADHD-liability (P = 9.2 × 10−5). Using subthreshold ADHD-instruments (P-threshold < 0.0015), these effects became smaller, with a 0.03 SD decrease per log-odds in ADHD risk (P = 1.4 × 10−6), although the predictive accuracy increased. However, polygenic ADHD-effects shared with EA were of equal strength and at least equal magnitude compared to those independent of EA, for all LRAs studied, and detectable using subthreshold instruments. Thus, ADHD-related polygenic links with LRAs are to a large extent due to shared genetic effects with EA, although there is evidence for an ADHD-specific association profile, independent of EA, that primarily involves literacy-related impairments.

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    41398_2018_324_MOESM1_ESM.docx
  • Becker, M., Devanna, P., Fisher, S. E., & Vernes, S. C. (2018). Mapping of Human FOXP2 Enhancers Reveals Complex Regulation. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, 11: 47. doi:10.3389/fnmol.2018.00047.

    Abstract

    Mutations of the FOXP2 gene cause a severe speech and language disorder, providing a molecular window into the neurobiology of language. Individuals with FOXP2 mutations have structural and functional alterations affecting brain circuits that overlap with sites of FOXP2 expression, including regions of the cortex, striatum, and cerebellum. FOXP2 displays complex patterns of expression in the brain, as well as in non-neuronal tissues, suggesting that sophisticated regulatory mechanisms control its spatio-temporal expression. However, to date, little is known about the regulation of FOXP2 or the genomic elements that control its expression. Using chromatin conformation capture (3C), we mapped the human FOXP2 locus to identify putative enhancer regions that engage in long-range interactions with the promoter of this gene. We demonstrate the ability of the identified enhancer regions to drive gene expression. We also show regulation of the FOXP2 promoter and enhancer regions by candidate regulators – FOXP family and TBR1 transcription factors. These data point to regulatory elements that may contribute to the temporal- or tissue-specific expression patterns of human FOXP2. Understanding the upstream regulatory pathways controlling FOXP2 expression will bring new insight into the molecular networks contributing to human language and related disorders.
  • Den Hoed, J., Sollis, E., Venselaar, H., Estruch, S. B., Derizioti, P., & Fisher, S. E. (2018). Functional characterization of TBR1 variants in neurodevelopmental disorder. Scientific Reports, 8: 14279. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-32053-6.

    Abstract

    Recurrent de novo variants in the TBR1 transcription factor are implicated in the etiology of sporadic autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Disruptions include missense variants located in the T-box DNA-binding domain and previous work has demonstrated that they disrupt TBR1 protein function. Recent screens of thousands of simplex families with sporadic ASD cases uncovered additional T-box variants in TBR1 but their etiological relevance is unclear. We performed detailed functional analyses of de novo missense TBR1 variants found in the T-box of ASD cases, assessing many aspects of protein function, including subcellular localization, transcriptional activity and protein-interactions. Only two of the three tested variants severely disrupted TBR1 protein function, despite in silico predictions that all would be deleterious. Furthermore, we characterized a putative interaction with BCL11A, a transcription factor that was recently implicated in a neurodevelopmental syndrome involving developmental delay and language deficits. Our findings enhance understanding of molecular functions of TBR1, as well as highlighting the importance of functional testing of variants that emerge from next-generation sequencing, to decipher their contributions to neurodevelopmental disorders like ASD.

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    Electronic supplementary material
  • 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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