Investigating genetic correlation and causality between nicotine dependence and ADHD in a broader psychiatric context
Number of pages
SourceAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics. Part B : Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 186, 7, (2021), pp. 423-429
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OGG
SW OZ BSI KLP
American Journal of Medical Genetics. Part B : Neuropsychiatric Genetics
SubjectAll institutes and research themes of the Radboud University Medical Center; Developmental Psychopathology; Experimental Psychopathology and Treatment; Radboudumc 13: Stress-related disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
People with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or other psychiatric disorders show high rates of nicotine dependence (ND). This comorbidity might be (partly) explained by shared genetic factors. Genetic correlations between ND and ADHD (or other psychiatric disorders) have not yet been estimated. A significant genetic correlation might indicate genetic overlap, but could also reflect a causal relationship. In the present study we investigated the genetic correlation (with LD score regression analyses) between ND and ADHD, as well as between ND and other major psychiatric conditions (major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety, bipolar disorder, autism spectrum, anorexia nervosa, and antisocial behavior) based on the summary statistics of large Genome Wide Association studies. We explored the causal nature of the relationship between ND and ADHD using two-sample Mendelian randomization. We found a high genetic correlation between ND and ADHD (rg = .53, p = 1.85 × 10-13), and to a lesser extent also between ND-major depressive disorder (rg = .42, p = 3.6 × 10-11) and ND-schizophrenia (rg = .18, p = 1.1 × 10-3). We did not find evidence for a causal relationship from liability for ADHD to ND (which could be due to a lack of power). The strong genetic correlations might reflect different phenotypic manifestations of (partly) shared underlying genetic vulnerabilities. Combined with the lack of evidence for a causal relationship from liability for ADHD to ND, these findings stress the importance to further investigate the underlying genetic vulnerability explaining co-morbidity in psychiatric disorders.
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