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Genetic stratification of depression in UK Biobank

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David Howard, Lasse Folkersen, Jonathan Coleman, Mark Adams, Kylie Glanville, Thomas Werge, Saskia Hagenaars, Buhm Han, David Porteous, Archie Campbell, Toni-Kim Clarke, Gerome Breen, Patrick F. Sullivan, N R Wray, Cathryn Lewis, Andrew McIntosh

Original languageEnglish
Article number163
JournalTranslational psychiatry
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Accepted/In press30 Apr 2020
Published24 May 2020

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Abstract

Depression is a common and clinically heterogeneous mental health disorder that is frequently comorbid with other diseases and conditions. Stratification of depression may align sub-diagnoses more closely with their underling aetiology and provide more tractable targets for research and effective treatment. In the current study, we investigated whether genetic data could be used to identify subgroups within people with depression using the UK Biobank. Examination of cross-locus correlations were used to test for evidence of subgroups using genetic data from seven other complex traits and disorders that were genetically correlated with depression and had sufficient power (>0.6) for detection. We found no evidence for subgroups within depression for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, anorexia nervosa, inflammatory bowel disease or obesity. This suggests that for these traits, genetic correlations with depression were driven by pleiotropic genetic variants carried by everyone rather than by a specific subgroup.

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