Genetic studies of bipolar disorder (BP) have been conducted in the Latin American population, to date, in several countries, including Mexico, the United States, Costa Rica, Colombia, and, to a lesser extent, Brazil. These studies focused primarily on linkage-based designs utilizing families with multiplex cases of BP. Significant BP loci were identified on Chromosomes 18, 5 and 8, and fine mapping suggested several genes of interest underlying these linkage peaks. More recently, studies in these same pedigrees yielded significant linkage loci for BP endophenotypes, including measures of activity, sleep cycles, and personality traits. Building from findings in other populations, candidate gene association analyses in Latinos from Mexican and Central American ancestry confirmed the role of several genes (including CACNA1C and ANK3) in conferring BP risk. Although GWAS, methylation, and deep sequencing studies have only begun in these populations, there is evidence that CNVs and rare SNPs both play a role in BP risk of these populations. Large segments of the Latino populations in the Americas remain largely unstudied regarding BP genetics, but evidence to date has shown that this type of research can be successfully conducted in these populations and that the genetic underpinnings of BP in these cohorts share at least some characteristics with risk genes identified in European and other populations.
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The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the Valley Baptist Legacy Fund (Harlingen, Texas), the UTRGV School of Medicine and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for support of the authors related to this work.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Escamilla, M., Merhi, C. Genetic substrates of bipolar disorder risk in Latino families. Mol Psychiatry (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41380-022-01705-5