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Convergence of recent GWAS data for suicidality with previous blood biomarkers: independent reproducibility using independent methodologies in independent cohorts


Recent genetic studies for suicidality, including four independent GWAS, have not reproduced each other’s top implicated genes. While arguments of heterogeneity, methodology, and sample sizes can be invoked, heterogeneity is a feature, not a “bug” (as is well understood in biology and in personalized medicine). A comprehensive body of work on blood biomarkers for suicidality has previously been published by our group. We examine the issue of reproducibility using these different approaches, and provide reassuring evidence for convergence of findings, as well as some generalizable insights.

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This work is, in essence, a field-wide collaboration. We would like to acknowledge our debt of gratitude for the efforts and results of the multiple other groups, cited in our paper, who have conducted and published genetic studies in suicidality. With their arduous and careful work, a convergent approach such as ours is possible. We would also like to acknowledge the contribution of the members of group over the years, in particular our students Dan Levey, Peter Phalen, and Kyle Roseberry, and that of our collaborators on the suicide biomarker studies, in particular George Sandusky, Mike Yard, and Sunil Kurian. This work was supported by an NIH Directors’ New Innovator Award (1DP2OD007363) and a VA Merit Award (2I01CX000139) to ABN.

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ABN designed the analyses and wrote the manuscript. HLN analyzed the datasets. Both authors reviewed the final manuscript and agreed with it.

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Correspondence to A. B. Niculescu.

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ABN is listed as inventor on a patent application being filed by Indiana University, and is a co-founder of MindX Sciences. The other author declares that he has no conflict of interest.

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Niculescu, A.B., Le-Niculescu, H. Convergence of recent GWAS data for suicidality with previous blood biomarkers: independent reproducibility using independent methodologies in independent cohorts. Mol Psychiatry 25, 19–21 (2020).

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