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In a new study published in Molecular Psychiatry led by David Mataix-Cols we have studied if a number of autoimmune disorders where more common in OCD and Tics compared to the population.
The study can be found here: https://www.nature.com/articles/mp2017215
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a severe psychiatric disorder linked to abnormalities in glutamate signaling and the cortico-striatal circuit. We sequenced coding and regulatory elements for 608 genes potentially involved in obsessive-compulsive disorder in human, dog, and mouse. Using a new method that prioritizes likely functional variants, we compared 592 cases to 560 controls and found four strongly associated genes, validated in a larger cohort. NRXN1 and HTR2A are enriched for coding variants altering postsynaptic protein-binding domains. CTTNBP2 (synapse maintenance) and REEP3 (vesicle trafficking) are enriched for regulatory variants, of which at least six (35%) alter transcription factor-DNA binding in neuroblastoma cells. NRXN1 achieves genome-wide significance (p = 6.37 × 10−11) when we include 33,370 population-matched controls. Our findings suggest synaptic adhesion as a key component in compulsive behaviors, and show that targeted sequencing plus functional annotation can identify potentially causative variants, even when genomic data are limited.
New Scientist reported about the study and there is a short video here:
The 25th World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics just ended in Orlando. Evelyn Hagen Andersson, Julia Boberg and Christian Rück represented our group.
There was huge interest in the poster that Evelyn presented on the association of genetic load for ADHD and Autism and outcome of CBT for depression in a sample of 971 patients. The conference also included a presentation by Andreas Forster on the largest genome-wide study of panic disorder where 400+ cases from our data collection where included. We are happy to soon be part of several work groups of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. The future in psychiatric genetics is clearly collaborative.
Volen Ivanov publicly defended his thesis “Never let go! : the etiology, clinical presentation and treatment of hoarding disorder” last Friday. The defense and opposition by Professor Kiara Timpano was a true celebration of science. Congratulation Volen to your well-deserved PhD!
Christopher LaLima, psychologist from Hofstra University who was with us in our group in 2015-16 very successfully defended his thesis “Therapist-Guided, Internet-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Body Dysmorphic Disorder – English Version (BDD-NET): A Feasibility Study” today at Hofstra University, NY. Congrats Chris! Chris was even nominated for the H. Alan Robinson Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award! Good luck!
Jesper Enander today received his PhD after successfully defending his thesis today. Congratulations Jesper!
Our collaborator Manuel Mattheisen, Associate Professor at Århus University, is now officially affiliated to Karolinska Institutet and our group. He studied medicine at the University in Bonn and went on to be a research follow at Harvard Medical School before moving to Denmark. We are fortunate to enjoy his deep expertise in genetical methods. Check out his quite spectacular publication list here.
Jesper Enander just nailed his thesis to a plank at the Karolinska library. This means that the thesis is now open to the public and will be publicly defended May 5th.