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Approved research

Vitamin D, genetics, and the risk of schizophrenia

Principal Investigator: Professor John McGrath
Approved Research ID: 10214
Approval date: September 1st 2015

Lay summary

To explore the association between vitamin D concentrations, polygenic risk scores for schizophrenia and other brain-related outcomes in a population based sample. We will also explore the links between vitamin D and a range of brain outcomes (cognition, mental disorders). A better understanding of the etiology (both genetic and environmental) of schizophrenia will aid in improving prevention, diagnosis and treatment of this detrimental disease. Vitamin D has been shown to be a risk factor for schizophrenia, it is modifiable and can be addressed safely, simply, and cheaply via public health intervention. Low concentrations of vitamin D during early life has been shown to be associated with increased risk of schizophrenia. At the same time, schizophrenia is a highly heritable disease. We will study whether genetic factors that have been associated with increased risk of schizophrenia are also associated with low concentrations of vitamin D. We will analyze genetic risk profile scores for schizophrenia (generated from independent case-control studies) and measures of vitamin D concentration to detect the hypothesized association. We believe that the genetic risk profile score for schizophrenia includes common variants that also influence vitamin D concentration. Full cohort with individual level genotype SNP data and measures of vitamin D (25OHD)