Imaging Genetics in Psychosis Study

This project established the cross-disorder cohort known as the Imaging Genetics in Psychosis Study, comprising more than 250 participants diagnosed with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or bipolar disorder, and a comparison group of healthy participants. In this study we considered the emerging genetic commonalities of these conditions in the context of parallel evidence for shared cognitive impairments characterized by poor prefrontal executive (working memory) and hippocampal (memory) function, and aberrant social cognitive (e.g., emotion processing) functions. Participants were recruited from 2009 through to 2015; each was interviewed about their current symptom levels and life experiences, completed a battery of cognitive tests, underwent structural, functional, and magnetic resonance brain scans, and gave blood and saliva for genetic and stress marker assays. The project contributes data to the International Psychiatric Genetics Consortium as well as the ENIGMA (Enhancing Neuro Imaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis) consortia; collaborative work with these consortia is ongoing.

This project has received funding from the Australian Research Council (Future Fellowship; FT0991511), and the National Health and Medical Research Council (Project Grant APP630471, 2010 – 2016 and Career Development Award APP1051672, 2014 – 2017).

Completed PhD students: Dr Leah Girshkin, Dr Nina Teroganova, Dr Oliver Watkeys.