• Burdick, Katherine (PI)

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Data from family-based, candidate gene, and genome-wide association studies converge to suggest a significant overlap in the molecular genetic risk factors for schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar disorder (BD). This suggests that overlapping genetic variants that influence risk for these illnesses do so via effects on shared dimensional phenotypes. Among these shared traits, neurocognitive impairment, is of particular clinical relevance as it does not adequately respond to available treatments and it is among the strongest predictors of functional disability across both disorders. Moreover, there is strong evidence that neurocognitive impairment is influenced by genetic factors in both SZ and BD, making this an endophenotype which is critical toward understanding trans-disorder pathophysiology. The identification of the relevant molecular networks associated with neurocognitive functioning in psychosis is not only an important step in elucidating the causes of these disorders, but also in identifying novel treatment options for this disabling symptom domain. We will focus on neurocognition as a critical dimension that is directly associated with disease risk and attempt to identify the clinical and molecular factors that underlie cognitive impairment in psychosis. To do so, we will characterize a prospective sample of 300 patients with psychosis, including both affective and non-affective psychosis, and empirically classify subjects based on neurocognitive performance profiles. We will also collect blood samples for DNA extraction and genotype a targeted list of high priority SNPs (based on prior association with BD/SZ risk and/or neurocognitive functioning) using a customized array. These data will be applied to a multidimensional modeling analyses in an effort to identify the risk alleles and molecular pathways that contribute to neurocognitive impairment in psychosis.

Effective start/end date1/01/1431/12/17


  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: $289,900.00


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