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Studying phenotypic and genetic characteristics of age at onset (AAO) and polarity at onset (PAO) in bipolar disorder can provide new insights into disease pathology and facilitate the development of screening tools.
To examine the genetic architecture of AAO and PAO and their association with bipolar disorder disease characteristics.
Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) and polygenic score (PGS) analyses of AAO (n = 12 977) and PAO (n = 6773) were conducted in patients with bipolar disorder from 34 cohorts and a replication sample (n = 2237). The association of onset with disease characteristics was investigated in two of these cohorts.
Earlier AAO was associated with a higher probability of psychotic symptoms, suicidality, lower educational attainment, not living together and fewer episodes. Depressive onset correlated with suicidality and manic onset correlated with delusions and manic episodes. Systematic differences in AAO between cohorts and continents of origin were observed. This was also reflected in single-nucleotide variant-based heritability estimates, with higher heritabilities for stricter onset definitions. Increased PGS for autism spectrum disorder (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), major depression (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), schizophrenia (β = −0.39 years, s.e. = 0.08), and educational attainment (β = −0.31 years, s.e. = 0.08) were associated with an earlier AAO. The AAO GWAS identified one significant locus, but this finding did not replicate. Neither GWAS nor PGS analyses yielded significant associations with PAO.
AAO and PAO are associated with indicators of bipolar disorder severity. Individuals with an earlier onset show an increased polygenic liability for a broad spectrum of psychiatric traits. Systematic differences in AAO across cohorts, continents and phenotype definitions introduce significant heterogeneity, affecting analyses.
The benefits of consuming soy and its protein have been reported in many studies. However, its phytoestrogen content raises concerns about consumption during lactation and gestation We therefore examined the effects of soybean or soy protein isolate on the parameters-related cardiovascular pathophysiology in lactating mothers and their offsprings at weaning and adulthood. Lactating rats were divided: casein control (C); soy protein isolate (SPI); and soybean (S). At weaning, half of the litter received commercial ration up to 150 days. The levels of 17-β-estradiol and superoxide dismutase were low in the S mothers. For the SPI mothers, we observed a reduction of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS). At weaning, atherogenic indices [1 = total cholesterol (TC)/HDL; 2 = LDL/HDL; 3 = TC-HDL/HDL)] decreased in the S and SPI offsprings compared to the casein control group; TBARS and antioxidant enzymes increased in the S offspring, while reduced/oxidized glutathione ratio increased in the SPI offspring, indicating lower oxidative stress. In adulthood, the SPI offspring showed an increase in liver cholesterol and atherogenic index 1 and 3 (vs. C and S) and 2 (vs. S). In addition, we found a decrease in catecholamines in the adrenal medulla and an increase in caffeine-stimulated secretion, but tyrosine hydroxylase expression remained constant. Maternal consumption of SPI during lactation worsened atherogenic indices of the offsprings in adulthood, which was associated with increased liver cholesterol and decreased catecholamines in the adrenal medulla. Soy consumption had no consistent long-term effects on the evaluated parameters compared to casein consumption. The data suggest that the consumption of SPI during lactation should be done with caution.
Many psychiatric disorders are influenced by genetic factors, but the genetic components of complex diseases may not follow clear inheritance patterns. Although the patients may share a common clinical phenotype, the cause of the syndrome may consist of a heterogeneous collection of both genetic and/or environmental components. One method to minimize genetic heterogeneity in studies of complex disorders is to select a very homogenous study population. The average number of families with the same last name, when corrected for population size, is an excellent marker for the degree of homogeneity. We used surname analysis to evaluate the homogeneity of the Portuguese population of Madeira, comparing it with previous data on the homogeneity of populations of mainland Portugal, the Azores, and both rural and urban US populations. The average number of families with the same last name corrected for population size was 33.84 in Madeira, 30.88 in the Azores, and 21.42 in Coimbra (mainland Portugal) compared with 1.13 in rural and 0.38 in urban United States. This surname analysis supports the premise that the Portuguese population is a highly homogenous population, with the highest homogeneity in Madeira and the Azores, making it a good study population for molecular genetic analyses.
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