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Effects of autozygosity and schizophrenia polygenic risk on cognitive and brain developmental trajectories

By Aldo Cordova-Palomera, Tobias Kaufmann, Francesco Bettella, Yunpeng Wang, Nhat Trung Doan, Dennis van der Meer, Dag Alnaes, Jaroslav Rokicki, Torgeir Moberget, Ida Elken S√łnderby, Ole A Andreassen, Lars T. Westlye

Posted 05 Jul 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/159939 (published DOI: 10.1038/s41431-018-0134-2)

Cognitive and brain development are determined by dynamic interactions between genes and environment across the lifespan. Aside from marker-by-marker analyses of polymorphisms, biologically meaningful features of the whole-genome (derived from the combined effect of individual markers) have been postulated to inform on human phenotypes including cognitive traits and their underlying biological substrate. Here, estimates of inbreeding and genetic susceptibility for schizophrenia calculated from genome-wide data -runs of homozygosity (ROH) and schizophrenia polygenic risk score (PGRS)- are analyzed in relation to cognitive abilities (n=4183) and brain structure (n=516) in a general-population sample of European-ancestry participants aged 8-22, from the Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort. The findings suggest that a higher ROH burden and higher schizophrenia PGRS are associated with higher intelligence. Cognition~ROH and cognition~PGRS associations obtained in this cohort may respectively evidence that assortative mating influences intelligence, and that individuals with high schizophrenia genetic risk who do not transition to disease status are cognitively resilient. Neuroanatomical data showed that the effects of schizophrenia PGRS on cognition could be modulated by brain structure, although larger imaging datasets are needed to accurately disentangle the underlying neural mechanisms linking IQ with both inbreeding and the genetic burden for schizophrenia.

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