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CARPHOLOGY by A Fo Ben

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Don’t you hate it when …

… you wait for a paper on genome wide association studies (GWAS) in schizophrenia and three come at once? Schizophrenia is perhaps 80% inherited but phenotyping is challenging and its major genes remain elusive.1 A pan-European study (n = 3322) of schizophrenia using GWAS reported important MHC region variants, strongly supporting a polygenic basis and explaining at least 30% of the liability. Intriguingly, schizophrenia’s genetic data are substantially shared with bipolar disorder.2 A meta-analysis of European ancestry people from three large datasets (8008 cases, 19 077 controls) identified an important linkage disequilibrium on chromosome 6p22.1 (p = 9.54×10−9); seven single nucleotide polymorphisms were significantly associated.3 The Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium GWAS data for bipolar disorder were re-examined asking which of seven subtypes had the most independent associations. The answer: schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type.

1doi:10.1038/nature08192; 2doi:10.1038/nature08185; 3Br J Psychiatry 2009;195:23–9.

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