Relationship between polygenic risk scores and symptom dimensions of schizophrenia and schizotypy in multiplex families with schizophrenia

Mohammad Ahangari, Daniel Bustamante, Robert Kirkpatrick, Tan Hoang Nguyen, Brian C. Verrelli, Ayman Fanous, Kenneth S. Kendler, Bradley T. Webb, Silviu Alin Bacanu, Brien P. Riley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background Psychotic disorders and schizotypal traits aggregate in the relatives of probands with schizophrenia. It is currently unclear how variability in symptom dimensions in schizophrenia probands and their relatives is associated with polygenic liability to psychiatric disorders. Aims To investigate whether polygenic risk scores (PRSs) can predict symptom dimensions in members of multiplex families with schizophrenia. Method The largest genome-wide data-sets for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder were used to construct PRSs in 861 participants from the Irish Study of High-Density Multiplex Schizophrenia Families. Symptom dimensions were derived using the Operational Criteria Checklist for Psychotic Disorders in participants with a history of a psychotic episode, and the Structured Interview for Schizotypy in participants without a history of a psychotic episode. Mixed-effects linear regression models were used to assess the relationship between PRS and symptom dimensions across the psychosis spectrum. Results Schizophrenia PRS is significantly associated with the negative/ disorganised symptom dimension in participants with a history of a psychotic episode (P = 2.31 × 10−4) and negative dimension in participants without a history of a psychotic episode (P = 1.42 × 10−3). Bipolar disorder PRS is significantly associated with the manic symptom dimension in participants with a history of a psychotic episode (P = 3.70 × 10−4). No association with major depressive disorder PRS was observed. Conclusions Polygenic liability to schizophrenia is associated with higher negative/disorganised symptoms in participants with a history of a psychotic episode and negative symptoms in participants without a history of a psychotic episode in multiplex families with schizophrenia. These results provide genetic evidence in support of the spectrum model of schizophrenia, and support the view that negative and disorganised symptoms may have greater genetic basis than positive symptoms, making them better indices of familial liability to schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-308
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Volume223
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 12 Jul 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • genetics
  • negative symptoms
  • psychotic disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • schizotypy

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