To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Understanding the interplay between psychosocial factors and polygenic risk scores (PRS) may help elucidate the biopsychosocial etiology of high alcohol consumption (HAC). This study examined the psychosocial moderators of HAC, determined by polygenic risk in a 10-year longitudinal study of US military veterans. We hypothesized that positive psychosocial traits (e.g. social support, personality traits, optimism, gratitude) may buffer risk of HAC in veterans with greater polygenic liability for alcohol consumption (AC).
Data were analyzed from 1323 European-American US veterans who participated in the National Health and Resilience in Veterans Study, a 10-year, nationally representative longitudinal study of US military veterans. PRS reflecting genome-wide risk for AC (AUDIT-C) was derived from a Million Veteran Program genome-wide association study (N = 200 680).
Among the total sample, 328 (weighted 24.8%) had persistent HAC, 131 (weighted 9.9%) had new-onset HAC, 44 (weighted 3.3%) had remitted HAC, and 820 (weighted 62.0%) had no/low AC over the 10-year study period. AUDIT-C PRS was positively associated with persistent HAC relative to no/low AC [relative risk ratio (RRR) = 1.43, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.23–1.67] and remitted HAC (RRR = 1.63, 95% CI = 1.07–2.50). Among veterans with higher AUDIT-C PRS, greater baseline levels of agreeableness and greater dispositional gratitude were inversely associated with persistent HAC.
AUDIT-C PRS was prospectively associated with persistent HAC over a 10-year period, and agreeableness and dispositional gratitude moderated this association. Clinical interventions designed to target these modifiable psychological traits may help mitigate risk of persistent HAC in veterans with greater polygenic liability for persistent HAC.
Little is known about environmental factors that may influence associations between genetic liability to suicidality and suicidal behavior.
This study examined whether a suicidality polygenic risk score (PRS) derived from a large genome-wide association study (N = 122,935) was associated with suicide attempts in a population-based sample of European-American US military veterans (N = 1664; 92.5% male), and whether cumulative lifetime trauma exposure moderated this association.
Eighty-five veterans (weighted 6.3%) reported a history of suicide attempt. After adjusting for sociodemographic and psychiatric characteristics, suicidality PRS was associated with lifetime suicide attempt (odds ratio 2.65; 95% CI 1.37–5.11). A significant suicidality PRS-by-trauma exposure interaction emerged, such that veterans with higher levels of suicidality PRS and greater trauma burden had the highest probability of lifetime suicide attempt (16.6%), whereas the probability of attempts was substantially lower among those with high suicidality PRS and low trauma exposure (1.4%). The PRS-by-trauma interaction effect was enriched for genes implicated in cellular and developmental processes, and nervous system development, with variants annotated to the DAB2 and SPNS2 genes, which are implicated in inflammatory processes. Drug repurposing analyses revealed upregulation of suicide gene-sets in the context of medrysone, a drug targeting chronic inflammation, and clofibrate, a triacylglyceride level lowering agent.
Results suggest that genetic liability to suicidality is associated with increased risk of suicide attempt among veterans, particularly in the presence of high levels of cumulative trauma exposure. Additional research is warranted to investigate whether incorporation of genomic information may improve suicide prediction models.
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.
Despite established clinical associations among major depression (MD), alcohol dependence (AD), and alcohol consumption (AC), the nature of the causal relationship between them is not completely understood. We leveraged genome-wide data from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) and UK Biobank to test for the presence of shared genetic mechanisms and causal relationships among MD, AD, and AC.
Linkage disequilibrium score regression and Mendelian randomization (MR) were performed using genome-wide data from the PGC (MD: 135 458 cases and 344 901 controls; AD: 10 206 cases and 28 480 controls) and UK Biobank (AC-frequency: 438 308 individuals; AC-quantity: 307 098 individuals).
Positive genetic correlation was observed between MD and AD (rgMD−AD = + 0.47, P = 6.6 × 10−10). AC-quantity showed positive genetic correlation with both AD (rgAD−AC quantity = + 0.75, P = 1.8 × 10−14) and MD (rgMD−AC quantity = + 0.14, P = 2.9 × 10−7), while there was negative correlation of AC-frequency with MD (rgMD−AC frequency = −0.17, P = 1.5 × 10−10) and a non-significant result with AD. MR analyses confirmed the presence of pleiotropy among these four traits. However, the MD-AD results reflect a mediated-pleiotropy mechanism (i.e. causal relationship) with an effect of MD on AD (beta = 0.28, P = 1.29 × 10−6). There was no evidence for reverse causation.
This study supports a causal role for genetic liability of MD on AD based on genetic datasets including thousands of individuals. Understanding mechanisms underlying MD-AD comorbidity addresses important public health concerns and has the potential to facilitate prevention and intervention efforts.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.