Season of birth interacts with measures of inbreeding in multiplex schizophrenia pedigrees: evidence from genetic isolates in Daghestan
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While the season-of-birth effect is one of the most consistent epidemiological features of schizophrenia, there is a lack of consistency with respect to the interaction between season of birth and family history of schizophrenia. Apart from family history, measures related to consanguinity can be used as proxy markers of genomic heterogeneity. Thus, these measures may provide an alternate, indirect index of genetic susceptibility. We had the opportunity to explore the interaction between season of birth and measure of consanguinity in well-described genetic isolates in Daghestan, some of which are known for their relatively high prevalence of schizophrenia. Our previous population-genetic study showed Daghestan has an extremely high genetic diversity between the ethnic populations and a low genetic diversity within them. The isolates selected for this study include some with more than 200 and some with less than 100 generations of demographical history since their founding. Based on pedigrees of multiply-affected families, we found that among individuals with schizophrenia, the measure of consanguinity was significantly higher in the parents of those born in winter/spring compared to those born in summer/autumn. Furthermore, compared to summer/autumn born, winter/spring born individuals with schizophrenia had an earlier age-of-onset, and more prominent auditory hallucinations. Our results suggest that the offspring of consanguineous marriages, and thus those with reduced allelic heterogeneity, may be more susceptible to the environmental factor(s) underpinning the season-of-the effect in schizophrenia.
KeywordsSchizophrenia inbreeding seasonality Daghestan genetic isolates
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