The Mood and Resilience in Offspring (MARIO) project: a longitudinal cohort study among offspring of parents with and without a mood disorder

Annabel Vreeker, Melany Horsfall, Merijn Eikelenboom, Annemerle Beerthuizen, Veerle Bergink, Marco P.M. Boks, Catharina A. Hartman, Ricki de Koning, Max de Leeuw, Dominique F. Maciejewski, Brenda W.J.H. Penninx, Manon H.J. Hillegers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: One of the most robust risk factors for developing a mood disorder is having a parent with a mood disorder. Unfortunately, mechanisms explaining the transmission of mood disorders from one generation to the next remain largely elusive. Since timely intervention is associated with a better outcome and prognosis, early detection of intergenerational transmission of mood disorders is of paramount importance. Here, we describe the design of the Mood and Resilience in Offspring (MARIO) cohort study in which we investigate: 1. differences in clinical, biological and environmental (e.g., psychosocial factors, substance use or stressful life events) risk and resilience factors in children of parents with and without mood disorders, and 2. mechanisms of intergenerational transmission of mood disorders via clinical, biological and environmental risk and resilience factors. Methods: MARIO is an observational, longitudinal cohort study that aims to include 450 offspring of parents with a mood disorder (uni- or bipolar mood disorders) and 100-150 offspring of parents without a mood disorder aged 10-25 years. Power analyses indicate that this sample size is sufficient to detect small to medium sized effects. Offspring are recruited via existing Dutch studies involving patients with a mood disorder and healthy controls, for which detailed clinical, environmental and biological data of the index-parent (i.e., the initially identified parent with or without a mood disorder) is available. Over a period of three years, four assessments will take place, in which extensive clinical, biological and environmental data and data on risk and resilience are collected through e.g., blood sampling, face-to-face interviews, online questionnaires, actigraphy and Experience Sampling Method assessment. For co-parents, information on demographics, mental disorder status and a DNA-sample are collected. Discussion: The MARIO cohort study is a large longitudinal cohort study among offspring of parents with and without mood disorders. A unique aspect is the collection of granular data on clinical, biological and environmental risk and resilience factors in offspring, in addition to available parental data on many similar factors. We aim to investigate the mechanisms underlying intergenerational transmission of mood disorders, which will ultimately lead to better outcomes for offspring at high familial risk.

Original languageEnglish
Article number227
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2024

Keywords

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Intergenerational transmission
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Mood disorder
  • Resilience

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