Genome-wide association study of school grades identifies a genetic overlap between language ability, psychopathology and creativity
Jonathan RI Coleman,
Andrea G. Allegrini,
Thomas Damm Als,
Henriette T. Horsdal,
Liselotte V Petersen,
Cynthia M. Bulik,
David M Hougaard,
Preben Bo Mortensen,
Posted 10 May 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.05.09.075226
Posted 10 May 2020
Individuals with psychiatric disorders perform differently in school compared to the general population. Genetic factors contribute substantially to such differences. It is however unclear if differential performance is seen across all cognitive domains such as math and language. Here we report a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of school grades in 30,982 individuals (18,495 with and 12,487 without one or more of six major psychiatric disorders) and a replication study in 4,547 individuals. GWAS of overall school performance yielded results that were highly similar to the results of a previous GWAS of educational attainment. Analyzing subject specific grades, we observed that math performance was severely affected whereas language performance (Danish and English) was relatively unaffected or enhanced in those with psychiatric disorders compared to controls. We found that the genetic variants associated with poor math performance, but better language performance were also associated with increased risk for multiple psychiatric disorders. The same variants were also associated with creativity, which we show through a polygenic score analysis of 2953 creative professionals and 164,622 controls. The results overall suggest that risk for psychiatric disorders, language ability and creativity might have overlapping genetic roots. ### Competing Interest Statement CM Bulik reports: Shire (grant recipient, Scientific Advisory Board member); Idorsia (consultant); Pearson (author, royalty recipient).
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