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Alcohol use disorder (AUD) and schizophrenia (SCZ) frequently co-occur, and large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified significant genetic correlations between these disorders.
We used the largest published GWAS for AUD (total cases = 77 822) and SCZ (total cases = 46 827) to identify genetic variants that influence both disorders (with either the same or opposite direction of effect) and those that are disorder specific.
We identified 55 independent genome-wide significant single nucleotide polymorphisms with the same direction of effect on AUD and SCZ, 8 with robust effects in opposite directions, and 98 with disorder-specific effects. We also found evidence for 12 genes whose pleiotropic associations with AUD and SCZ are consistent with mediation via gene expression in the prefrontal cortex. The genetic covariance between AUD and SCZ was concentrated in genomic regions functional in brain tissues (p = 0.001).
Our findings provide further evidence that SCZ shares meaningful genetic overlap with AUD.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a complex mental disorder afflicting approximately 7% of the population. The diverse number of traumatic events and the wide array of symptom combinations leading to PTSD diagnosis contribute substantial heterogeneity to studies of the disorder. Genomic and complimentary-omic investigations have rapidly increased our understanding of the heritable risk for PTSD. In this review, we emphasize the contributions of genome-wide association, epigenome-wide association, transcriptomic, and neuroimaging studies to our understanding of PTSD etiology. We also discuss the shared risk between PTSD and other complex traits derived from studies of causal inference, co-expression, and brain morphological similarities. The investigations completed so far converge on stark contrasts in PTSD risk between sexes, partially attributed to sex-specific prevalence of traumatic experiences with high conditional risk of PTSD. To further understand PTSD biology, future studies should focus on detecting risk for PTSD while accounting for substantial cohort-level heterogeneity (e.g. civilian v. combat-exposed PTSD cases or PTSD risk among cases exposed to specific traumas), expanding ancestral diversity among study cohorts, and remaining cognizant of how these data influence social stigma associated with certain traumatic events among underrepresented minorities and/or high-risk populations.
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