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Researchers have identified genetic and neural risk factors for externalizing behaviors. However, it has not yet been determined if genetic liability is conferred in part through associations with more proximal neurophysiological risk markers.
Participants from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism, a large, family-based study of alcohol use disorders were genotyped and polygenic scores for externalizing (EXT PGS) were calculated. Associations with target P3 amplitude from a visual oddball task (P3) and broad endorsement of externalizing behaviors (indexed via self-report of alcohol and cannabis use, and antisocial behavior) were assessed in participants of European (EA; N = 2851) and African ancestry (AA; N = 1402). Analyses were also stratified by age (adolescents, age 12–17 and young adults, age 18–32).
The EXT PGS was significantly associated with higher levels of externalizing behaviors among EA adolescents and young adults as well as AA young adults. P3 was inversely associated with externalizing behaviors among EA young adults. EXT PGS was not significantly associated with P3 amplitude and therefore, there was no evidence that P3 amplitude indirectly accounted for the association between EXT PGS and externalizing behaviors.
Both the EXT PGS and P3 amplitude were significantly associated with externalizing behaviors among EA young adults. However, these associations with externalizing behaviors appear to be independent of each other, suggesting that they may index different facets of externalizing.
Genetic factors contribute to the intergenerational transmission of alcohol misuse, but not all individuals at high genetic risk develop problems. The present study examined adolescent relationships with parents, peers, and romantic partners as predictors of realized resistance, defined as high biological risk for disorder combined with a healthy outcome, to alcohol initiation, heavy episodic drinking, and alcohol use disorder (AUD). Data were from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (N = 1,858; 49.9% female; mean age at baseline = 13.91 years). Genetic risk, indexed using family history density and polygenic risk scores for alcohol problems and AUD, was used to define alcohol resistance. Adolescent predictors included parent-child relationship quality, parental monitoring, peer drinking, romantic partner drinking, and social competence. There was little support for the hypothesis that social relationship factors would promote alcohol resistance, with the exception that higher father-child relationship quality was associated with higher resistance to alcohol initiation (
$$\hat \beta $$
= −0.19, 95% CI = −0.35, −0.03). Unexpectedly, social competence was associated with lower resistance to heavy episodic drinking (
$$\hat \beta $$
= 0.10, 95% CI = 0.01, 0.20). This pattern of largely null effects underscores how little is known about resistance processes among those at high genetic risk for AUD.
The authors sought to clarify the impact of spousal psychiatric disorders of differing severity [major depression or anxiety disorders (DAD) v. bipolar disorder or nonaffective psychosis (BPN)] on proband risk for alcohol use disorder (AUD) during marriage.
In a Swedish cohort (N = 744 628), associations between spousal DAD and BPN and proband AUD were estimated with Cox proportional hazards; associations between parental AUD, proband premarital AUD, and spousal lifetime DAD and BPN were estimated with logistic regression; and whether spousal DAD or BPN causally increased risk for AUD was evaluated with frailty models.
Spousal premarital DAD, spousal marital-onset DAD, and spousal BPN (premarital or marital-onset) were associated with proband AUD during marriage [hazard ratios (HR) range 1.44–3.72]. Those with a parental or premarital history of AUD (v. without) were more likely to marry a spouse with DAD or BPN (odds ratios 1.22–2.77). Moving from an unaffected first spouse to a DAD-affected second spouse increased AUD risk in males (HR 2.90). Moving from an unaffected first spouse to a BPN-affected second spouse increased AUD risk (HRmales 3.96; HRfemales 5.64). Moving to an unaffected second spouse from a DAD-affected first spouse decreased AUD risk, with stronger evidence in females compared to males (HRmales 0.59; HRfemales 0.28).
Associations between spousal DAD or BPN and proband AUD reflect both selection and causal effects. Marriage to a BPN-affected spouse has a particularly strong effect on AUD risk, with more modest effects for spousal DAD.
We examined the associations between the developmental timing of interpersonal trauma exposure (IPT) and three indicators of involvement in and quality of romantic relationships in emerging adulthood: relationship status, relationship satisfaction, and partner alcohol use. We further examined whether these associations varied in a sex-specific manner. In a sample of emerging adult college students (N = 12,358; 61.5% female) assessed longitudinally across the college years, we found precollege IPT increased the likelihood of being in a relationship, while college-onset IPT decreased the likelihood. Precollege and college-onset IPT predicted lower relationship satisfaction, and college-onset IPT predicted higher partner alcohol use. There was no evidence that associations between IPT and relationship characteristics varied in a sex-specific manner. Findings indicate that IPT exposure, and the developmental timing of IPT, may affect college students’ relationship status. Findings also suggest that IPT affects their ability to form satisfying relationships with prosocial partners.
Co-twin comparisons address familial confounding by controlling for genetic and environmental influences that twin siblings share. We applied the co-twin comparison design to investigate associations of adolescent factors with alcohol dependence (AD) symptoms. Participants were 1286 individuals (581 complete twin pairs; 42% monozygotic; and 54% female) from the FinnTwin12 study. Predictors included adolescent academic achievement, substance use, externalizing problems, internalizing problems, executive functioning, peer environment, physical health, relationship with parents, alcohol expectancies, life events, and pubertal development. The outcome was lifetime AD clinical criterion count, as measured in young adulthood. We examined associations of each adolescent domain with AD symptoms in individual-level and co-twin comparison analyses. In individual-level analyses, adolescents with higher levels of substance use, teacher-reported externalizing problems at age 12, externalizing problems at age 14, self- and co-twin-reported internalizing problems, peer deviance, and perceived difficulty of life events reported more symptoms of AD in young adulthood (ps < .044). Conversely, individuals with higher academic achievement, social adjustment, self-rated health, and parent–child relationship quality met fewer AD clinical criteria (ps < .024). Associations between adolescent substance use, teacher-reported externalizing problems, co-twin-reported internalizing problems, peer deviance, self-rated health, and AD symptoms were of a similar magnitude in co-twin comparisons. We replicated many well-known adolescent correlates of later alcohol problems, including academic achievement, substance use, externalizing and internalizing problems, self-rated health, and features of the peer environment and parent–child relationship. Furthermore, we demonstrate the utility of co-twin comparisons for understanding pathways to AD. Effect sizes corresponding to the associations between adolescent substance use, teacher-reported externalizing problems, co-twin-reported internalizing problems, peer deviance, and self-rated health were not significantly attenuated (p value threshold = .05) after controlling for genetic and environmental influences that twin siblings share, highlighting these factors as candidates for further research.
Many studies demonstrate that marriage protects against risky alcohol use and moderates genetic influences on alcohol outcomes; however, previous work has not considered these effects from a developmental perspective or in high-risk individuals. These represent important gaps, as it cannot be assumed that marriage has uniform effects across development or in high-risk samples. We took a longitudinal developmental approach to examine whether marital status was associated with heavy episodic drinking (HED), and whether marital status moderated polygenic influences on HED. Our sample included 937 individuals (53.25% female) from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism who reported their HED and marital status biennially between the ages of 21 and 25. Polygenic risk scores (PRS) were derived from a genome-wide association study of alcohol consumption. Marital status was not associated with HED; however, we observed pathogenic gene-by-environment effects that changed across young adulthood. Among those who married young (age 21), individuals with higher PRS reported more HED; however, these effects decayed over time. The same pattern was found in supplementary analyses using parental history of alcohol use disorder as the index of genetic liability. Our findings indicate that early marriage may exacerbate risk for those with higher polygenic load.
Psychoactive substance use is lower among married compared to divorced or unmarried men; yet, the nature of this effect remains unclear because becoming and staying married is potentially confounded with substance-related background familial and individual factors, like parental divorce and personality. The authors investigated the associations between marital status and substance use; how substance use changed across the transition to marriage; and whether marriage effects were likely to be causal.
The sample included 1790 adults from male–male twin pairs from a population-based registry. Measures of marital status and alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis use came from Life History Calendars. Data were analyzed using regression, co-twin comparison, and within-person models. The latter models are tools for quasi-causal inference that control for familial and individual-level confounders.
Married men used less alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis than men who were divorced/separated or single. In analyses of substance use across the transition to marriage, men reduced their alcohol and cannabis use both before and after marriage, but their tobacco use only after marriage. These effects were largely robust in co-twin and within-person analyses.
Marriage was associated with substantial reductions in substance use compared to being divorced/separated or single, and these reductions began prior to marriage. The co-twin comparison and within-person models ruled out the alternative explanation that marriage effects were due to confounding background familial and individual factors. These results provide strong evidence that the social role expectations associated with marriage reduce psychoactive substance use.
This review offers an update on research conducted with FinnTwin12 (FT12), the youngest of the three Finnish Twin Cohorts. FT12 was designed as a two-stage study. In the first stage, we conducted multiwave questionnaire research enrolling all eligible twins born in Finland during 1983–1987 along with their biological parents. In stage 2, we intensively studied a subset of these twins with in-school assessments at age 12 and semistructured poly-diagnostic interviews at age 14. At baseline, parents of intensively studied twins were administered the adult version of the interview. Laboratory studies with repeat interviews, neuropsychological tests, and collection of DNA were made of intensively studied twins during follow-up in early adulthood. The basic aim of the FT12 study design was to obtain information on individual, familial and school/neighborhood risks for substance use/abuse prior to the onset of regular tobacco and alcohol use and then track trajectories of use and abuse and their consequences into adulthood. But the longitudinal assessments were not narrowly limited to this basic aim, and with multiwave, multirater assessments from ages 11 to 12, the study has created a richly informative data set for analyses of gene–environment interactions of both candidate genes and genomewide measures with measured risk-relevant environments. Because 25 years have elapsed since the start of the study, we are planning a fifth-wave follow-up assessment.
Although being married with children is associated with a reduced rate of alcohol use disorder (AUD), is this finding independent of a marital effect, different in mothers and fathers and potentially causal in effect.
Using Cox proportional hazards, we examined, in 1 252 237 married individuals, the association between a resident younger and older child and risk for AUD registration in national medical, criminal, and pharmacy registers. Using logistic regression, we analyzed, in 600 219 parents, within-person models comparing risk for AUD prior to first pregnancy v. with young children. We examined whether risk for AUD in 1302 parents after a first spousal AUD registration was reduced by having a young resident child.
Compared with childless married individuals, resident younger children were associated with a reduced risk for AUD in mothers [hazard ratio (HR) 0.36, 95% confidence interval 0.31–0.41] and fathers (HR 0.66, 0.60–0.73). The reduced risk was attenuated but still significant for older children. Within-person models confirmed the protective effect of young children in mothers [odds ratio (OR) 0.49, 0.30–0.80] but yielded inconclusive results in fathers (OR 0.85, 0.58–1.25). After a first spousal registration for AUD, a resident young child was associated with a substantial reduction in risk for mothers and a weaker marginal effect in fathers.
In married individuals, resident children are associated with a reduction in basal risk for AUD which is stronger in mothers than fathers and with younger v. older children. This effect is also evident during high-risk periods. In mothers, our results are consistent with a largely causal effect.
Identifying genetic relationships between complex traits in emerging adulthood can provide useful etiological insights into risk for psychopathology. College-age individuals are under-represented in genomic analyses thus far, and the majority of work has focused on the clinical disorder or cognitive abilities rather than normal-range behavioral outcomes.
This study examined a sample of emerging adults 18–22 years of age (N = 5947) to construct an atlas of polygenic risk for 33 traits predicting relevant phenotypic outcomes. Twenty-eight hypotheses were tested based on the previous literature on samples of European ancestry, and the availability of rich assessment data allowed for polygenic predictions across 55 psychological and medical phenotypes.
Polygenic risk for schizophrenia (SZ) in emerging adults predicted anxiety, depression, nicotine use, trauma, and family history of psychological disorders. Polygenic risk for neuroticism predicted anxiety, depression, phobia, panic, neuroticism, and was correlated with polygenic risk for cardiovascular disease.
These results demonstrate the extensive impact of genetic risk for SZ, neuroticism, and major depression on a range of health outcomes in early adulthood. Minimal cross-ancestry replication of these phenomic patterns of polygenic influence underscores the need for more genome-wide association studies of non-European populations.
Leishmaniasis are diseases caused by parasites of the genus Leishmania and transmitted to humans by the bite of infected insects of the subfamily Phlebotominae. Current drug therapy shows high toxicity and severe adverse effects. Recently, two oligopeptidases (OPBs) were identified in Leishmania amazonensis, namely oligopeptidase B (OPB) and oligopeptidase B2 (OPB2). These OPBs could be ideal targets, since both enzymes are expressed in all parasite lifecycle and were not identified in human. This work aimed to identify possible dual inhibitors of OPB and OPB2 from L. amazonensis. The three-dimensional structures of both enzymes were built by comparative modelling and used to perform a virtual screening of ZINC database by DOCK Blaster server. It is the first time that OPB models from L. amazonensis are used to virtual screening approach. Four hundred compounds were identified as possible inhibitors to each enzyme. The top scored compounds were submitted to refinement by AutoDock program. The best results suggest that compounds interact with important residues, as Tyr490, Glu612 and Arg655 (OPB numbers). The identified compounds showed better results than antipain and drugs currently used against leishmaniasis when ADMET in silico were performed. These compounds could be explored in order to find dual inhibitors of OPB and OPB2 from L. amazonensis.
The purpose of this study was to address two methodological issues that have called into question whether previously reported gene–environment interaction (GxE) effects for adolescent alcohol use are ‘real’. These issues are (1) the potential correlation between the environmental moderator and the outcome across twins and (2) non-linear transformations of the behavioral outcome. Three environments that have been previously studied (peer deviance, parental knowledge, and potentially stressful life events) were examined here. For each moderator (peer deviance, parental knowledge, and potentially stressful life events), a series of models was fit to both a raw and transformed measure of monthly adolescent alcohol use in a sample that included 825 dizygotic (DZ) and 803 monozygotic (MZ) twin pairs. The results showed that the moderating effect of peer deviance was robust to transformation, and that although the significance of moderating effects of parental knowledge and potentially stressful life events were dependent on the scale of the adolescent alcohol use outcome, the overall results were consistent across transformation. In addition, the findings did not vary across statistical models. The consistency of the peer deviance results and the shift of the parental knowledge and potentially stressful life events results between trending and significant, shed some light on why previous findings for certain moderators have been inconsistent and emphasize the importance of considering both methodological issues and previous findings when conducting and interpreting GxE analyses.
This study tests a model of young adult romantic quality as a moderator of the effects of early caregiving on anxious–depressed symptoms over a 9-year period in adulthood. Participants (n = 93) were a subsample from a longitudinal study of risk and adaptation. Quality of early caregiving was measured using observational data collected at five points in the first 4 years of life. Young adult romantic relationship quality was assessed from interviews with participants at age 23. Self-report anxious–depressed symptoms were measured at ages 23, 26, and 32. The results indicated that romantic quality moderated early caregiving to predict symptom levels across this period, with evidence for inoculation, amplification, and compensation effects. A discriminant analysis examining young adult work competence as a moderator provided further evidence for the distinctiveness of romantic relationships in changing the association between early caregiving and adult internalizing symptoms.