Genetics of Psychiatric Disorders
Identifying rare genetic variants or variation in gene expression in order to uncover unknown (“hidden”) heritability.
Family and twin studies have shown that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have high heritability. Researchers at NORMENT have contributed to major international GWAS ("genome-wide association studies"). We have found evidence for new vulnerability genes for these disorders. Preliminary results show that many genes ie. gene variants are involved, but each of them contribute to a relatively modest degree. The identified gene variants explain only a small portion of susceptibility to psychotic disorders. Heritability is yet not fully explained.
In our research, we use combined approaches that include new genotyping methods to identify rare genetic variants. We also use new statistical methods for mapping multiple gene variants, each of them having small effect on their own.