Perspective

Molecular Psychiatry (2009) 14, 10–17; doi:10.1038/mp.2008.126; published online 11 November 2008

A framework for interpreting genome-wide association studies of psychiatric disorders

The Psychiatric GWAS Consortium Steering Committee

Correspondence: , Department of Genetics, CB#7264, 4109D Neurosciences Research Building, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-7264, USA. E-mail: pfsulliv@med.unc.edu

Received 27 October 2008; Accepted 27 October 2008; Published online 11 November 2008.

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Abstract

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have yielded a plethora of new findings in the past 3 years. By early 2009, GWAS on 47 samples of subjects with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and schizophrenia will be completed. Taken together, these GWAS constitute the largest biological experiment ever conducted in psychiatry (59000 independent cases and controls, 7700 family trios and >40 billion genotypes). We know that GWAS can work, and the question now is whether it will work for psychiatric disorders. In this review, we describe these studies, the Psychiatric GWAS Consortium for meta-analyses of these data, and provide a logical framework for interpretation of some of the conceivable outcomes.

Keywords:

genome-wide association, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, schizophrenia

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