Article

Neurotoxicity Research

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 73-83

First online:

Are some genetic risk factors common to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression? evidence fromDISC1, GRIK4 andNRG1

  • Douglas H. R. BlackwoodAffiliated withDivision of Psychiatry, The University of Edinburgh, Royal Edinburgh HospitalMedical Genetics Section, Molecular Medicine Centre, The University of Edinburgh Email author 
  • , Ben J. PickardAffiliated withMedical Genetics Section, Molecular Medicine Centre, The University of Edinburgh
  • , Pippa A. ThomsonAffiliated withMedical Genetics Section, Molecular Medicine Centre, The University of Edinburgh
  • , Kathryn L. EvansAffiliated withMedical Genetics Section, Molecular Medicine Centre, The University of Edinburgh
  • , David J. PorteousAffiliated withMedical Genetics Section, Molecular Medicine Centre, The University of Edinburgh
  • , Walter J. MuirAffiliated withDivision of Psychiatry, The University of Edinburgh, Royal Edinburgh HospitalMedical Genetics Section, Molecular Medicine Centre, The University of Edinburgh

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Depression is common in patients with schizophrenia and it is well established from family studies that rates of depression are increased among relatives of probands with schizophrenia, making it likely that the phenotypes described under the categories of affective and non-affective psychoses share some genetic risk factors. Family linkage studies have identified several chromosomal regions likely to contain risk genes for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, suggesting common susceptibility loci. Candidate gene association studies have provided further evidence to suggest that some genes including two of the most studied candidates, Disrupted in Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) and Neuregulin 1 (NRG1) may be involved in both types of psychosis. We have recently identified another strong candidate for a role in both schizophrenia and affective disorders,GRIK4 a glutamate receptor mapped to chromosome 11q23 [Glutamate Receptor, Ionotropic, Kainate, type 4]. This gene is disrupted by a translocation breakpoint in a patient with schizophrenia, and case control studies show significant association ofGRIK4 with both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Identifying genes implicated in the psychoses may eventually provide the basis for classification based on biology rather than symptoms, and suggest novel treatment strategies for these complex brain disorders.

Keywords

Bipolar disorder depression Schizophrenia Genes Linkage Association DISC1 GRIK4 NRG1