Principal Investigator: Dr Ahmad Hariri
Department: Psychology and Neuroscience
Duke University, Psychology and Neuroscience, 417 Chapel Drive, Room 317 Soc/Psy, Durham NC 27708. United States.Tags: 28174, biomarkers, Brain, genes, Mental Illness, Risk
1a: Exaggerated reactivity of the amygdala, a deep brain structure critical for coordinating our responses to danger, has been documented in almost all common forms of mental illness. More importantly, exaggerated amygdala reactivity predicts who may experience mental illness in response to future stress. Thus, amygdala reactivity could be useful as a risk biomarker in evolving efforts to help prevent mental illness. However, direct measurement of amygdala reactivity using functional MRI is neither easy nor inexpensive. We propose to establish a genetic signature of threat-related amygdala reactivity to overcome this measurement limitation using easy and inexpensive collection of DNA.
1b: Our proposed research promises to generate a readily assayed biomarker of risk for common mental illness, especially stress-related disorders such as depression and anxiety.
1c: We will combine genome-wide SNP and threat-related amygdala reactivity data from the UK BioBank with our own nearly identical data to conduct the first ever GWAS of this critical brain response.
1d: Subset of participants with overlapping genome-wide SNP and BOLD fMRI threat-related amygdala reactivity data.
In addition to the above, as we are also interested more broadly in the genetic correlates of cognitive and mental health, we will use established summary statistics from GWAS of phenotypes that relate to psychopathology and cognitive ability, to calculate polygenic risk scores in the UK biobank, and test whether they can predict psychiatric and cognitive phenotypes and/or their structural brain markers
Last updated Jun 10, 2019