Large-Scale Genome Analysis Identifies Differences by Sex in Major Psychiatric Disorders

A large-scale study by several international research teams, including NeuRA, analysed potential differences between sexes in the genetics of schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder.

Results indicate that while there was substantial genetic overlap between the sexes, significant sex-dependent differences were still found for genes related to the immune system, central nervous system and vascular function across and within these major psychiatric disorders.

This study was the largest genome-wide genotype-by-sex analysis of mood and psychotic disorders to date, analysing the genomes of 85,735 cases (people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder), with 109,946 controls.

Though the specific mechanisms currently remain unknown, the study highlights the importance of large-scale genetic studies to understand the impact of sex, genes and pathophysiology to identify future sex-specific treatments.

The full study can be viewed here.

30 March 2021