Webinar on Complex Trait Genetics
Sprekers: Jeanne Savage & Wouter Peyrot
Recorded: May 19, 2022
Exploring the heterogeneous genetic origins of alcohol misuse
Jeanne Savage, PhD, Department of Complex Trait Genetics, Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Alcohol misuse is a leading contributor to the global burden of illness, with strong genetic influences that have remained persistently elusive to identify. Current strategies for gene identification may be undercut by the existence of genetic heterogeneity, whereby multiple distinct causal pathways lead to the same outcome and make true genetic associations difficult to pinpoint. In this project we leverage the strengths of big data and deep phenotyping to investigate genetic heterogeneity across different subgroups and dimensions of alcohol misuse. We find both shared and distinct genetic influences that can be used to give insight into targets for functional experiments and to improve the design of genetic studies of complex phenotypes like alcohol misuse.
Genetic difference between psychiatric disorders: towards clinical utility?
Wouter Peyrot, MD, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Amsterdam UM; Department of Complex Trait Genetics, Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Psychiatric disorders are highly genetically correlated, and many studies focused on their shared genetic components. However, much less research has been conducted on the genetic differences between psychiatric disorders, and biological differences between psychiatric disorders are poorly understood. Studying genetic differences between psychiatric disorders is thus relevant as it may facilitate more disorder-specific treatment and better clinical diagnoses in the future. In this webinar, results will be presented of (1) genetic loci with different allele frequencies among cases of different disorders that we identified with our new method, CC-GWAS, and (2) preliminary findings of distinguishing different psychiatric disorders based on polygenic prediction with our new method, DDx-PRS. To conclude, a future perspective on the clinical utility of polygenic prediction in psychiatry will be presented.