Using Patterns of Genetic Association to Elucidate Shared Genetic Etiologies Across Psychiatric Disorders

Seung Bin Cho, Fazil Aliev, Shaunna L. Clark, Amy E. Adkins, Howard J. Edenberg, Kathleen K. Bucholz, Bernice Porjesz, Danielle M. Dick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Twin studies indicate that latent genetic factors overlap across comorbid psychiatric disorders. In this study, we used a novel approach to elucidate shared genetic factors across psychiatric outcomes by clustering single nucleotide polymorphisms based on their genome-wide association patterns. We applied latent profile analysis (LPA) to p-values resulting from genome-wide association studies across three phenotypes: symptom counts of alcohol dependence (AD), antisocial personality disorder (ASP), and major depression (MD), using the European–American case-control genome-wide association study subsample of the collaborative study on the genetics of alcoholism (N = 1399). In the 3-class model, classes were characterized by overall low associations (85.6% of SNPs), relatively stronger association only with MD (6.8%), and stronger associations with AD and ASP but not with MD (7.6%), respectively. These results parallel the genetic factor structure identified in twin studies. The findings suggest that applying LPA to association results across multiple disorders may be a promising approach to identify the specific genetic etiologies underlying shared genetic variance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-415
Number of pages11
JournalBehavior genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017


  • Comorbidity
  • GWAS
  • Genetic etiology
  • Latent profile analysis
  • Psychiatric disorder

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