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Twin studies have lacked statistical power to apply advanced genetic modelling techniques to the search for cognitive endophenotypes for bipolar disorder.
To quantify the shared genetic variability between bipolar disorder and cognitive measures.
Structural equation modelling was performed on cognitive data collected from 331 twins/siblings of varying genetic relatedness, disease status and concordance for bipolar disorder.
Using a parsimonious AE model, verbal episodic and spatial working memory showed statistically significant genetic correlations with bipolar disorder (rg = |0.23|–|0.27|), which lost statistical significance after covarying for affective symptoms. Using an ACE model, IQ and visual-spatial learning showed statistically significant genetic correlations with bipolar disorder (rg = |0.51|–|1.00|), which remained significant after covarying for affective symptoms.
Verbal episodic and spatial working memory capture a modest fraction of the bipolar diathesis. IQ and visual-spatial learning may tap into genetic substrates of non-affective symptomatology in bipolar disorder.
The Murcia Twin Registry (MTR) was created in 2006, under the auspices of the University of Murcia and the regional Health Authority, aiming to develop a research resource in Spain intended to stimulate current research and new investigation on the analysis of genetic factors related to health and health-related behaviors. The MTR development strategy was designed as a step-by-step process. Initially, it was focused on women's health but nowadays it includes males and opposite-sex twins. The database comprises 2,281 participants born between 1940 and 1966 in the region of Murcia, in Spain. There have been three waves of data collection and today the MTR databases include questionnaire and anthropometric data as well as biological samples. The current main areas of research interest are health and health-related behaviors, including lifestyle, health promotion, and quality of life. Future short-term development points to the completion of the biobank and continuing the collection of longitudinal data.
Adolescents' evaluations of family functioning may have a significant impact on their subjective well-being and adjustment. The aim of the study was to investigate the degree to which genetic and environmental influences affect variation in evaluations of general family functioning, family conflict, and quality of life and the overlap between them. We assessed whether genetic and environmental influences are moderated by parental divorce by analyzing self-report data from 6,773 adolescent twins and their non-twin siblings. Genetic, shared, and nonshared environmental influences accounted for variation in general family functioning and family conflict, with genetic influences being relatively more important in girls than boys in general family functioning. Genetic and nonshared environmental influences accounted for variation in quality of life, with genetic influences being relatively more important in girls. Evidence was found for interaction between genetic factors and parental divorce: genetic influence on general family functioning was larger in participants from divorced families. The overlap between general family functioning and quality of life, and family conflict and quality of life was accounted for the largest part by genetic effects, with nonshared environmental effects accounting for the remaining part. By examining the data from monozygotic twins, we found evidence for interaction between genotype and nonshared, non-measured, environmental influences on evaluations of general family functioning, family conflict, and quality of life.
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