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First, we performed a Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) on an anhedonia phenotype that identified 11 regions of the genome. The phenotype was based on the question of how many days in the past two weeks the respondent didn't get pleasure form things they usually enjoyed with the responses were grouped into the proportion of days in the last two weeks. We then correlated the summary statistics of the GWAS with GWAS summary statistics for psychiatric pathologies. The final thing we did was created polygenic risk scores and found that genetic loading for anhedonia associated with poorer brain white matter integrity, smaller total grey matter volume, and smaller volumes of brain regions linked to reward and pleasure processing, including orbito-frontal cortex.
Genome-wide association studies of mental health.
The primary aim of this research is to identify genetic associations with a) major depression plus mania/bipolar disorder, and b) vulnerability to depression and other negative mood states (as measured by neuroticism score). These aims will be achieved by conducting genome-wide association studies (GWAS), making use of data from the UK Biobank genotyping project. This project is linked to previous analyses our team have undertaken on Biobank data in the areas of mood disorder, cognitive function, cardiometabolic disease and ethnicity and meets Biobank?s stated purpose of improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of illnesses by identifying genetic risk factors for common mental disorders, as well as genetic risk factors for trait-like vulnerability to these disorders (neuroticism). Insights from this work will lead to a better understanding of disease processes in depression, better approaches to diagnosis and ultimately the development of new treatments. This work will consist of genome-wide association studies (GWAS), making use of data from the UK Biobank genotyping project. These GWAS studies on depression and neuroticism will make use of phenotypic and genetic data on all Biobank participants (full cohort).