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Genetic overlap between multivariate measures of human functional brain connectivity and psychiatric disorders

By Daniel Roelfs, Dennis van der Meer, Dag Alnaes, Oleksandr Frei, Robert Loughnan, Chun Chieh Fan, Anders M. Dale, Ole A. Andreassen, Lars T. Westlye, Tobias Kaufmann

Posted 22 Jun 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.06.15.21258954

Psychiatric disorders are complex, heritable, and highly polygenic. Supported by findings of abnormalities in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) based measures of brain connectivity, current theoretical and empirical accounts have conceptualized them as disorders of brain connectivity and dysfunctional integration of brain signaling, however, the extent to which these findings reflect common genetic factors remains unclear. Here, we performed a multivariate genome-wide association analysis of fMRI-based functional brain connectivity in a sample of 30,701 individuals from the UK Biobank and investigated the shared genetic determinants with seven major psychiatric disorders. The analysis revealed significant genetic overlap between functional brain connectivity and schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, anxiety, and major depression, adding further genetic support for the dysconnectivity hypothesis of psychiatric disorders and identifying potential genetic and functional targets for future studies.

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