Techniques and Methods| Volume 72, ISSUE 8, P707-709, October 15, 2012

Estimating the Genetic Variance of Major Depressive Disorder Due to All Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms

      Genome-wide association studies of psychiatric disorders have been criticized for their lack of explaining a considerable proportion of the heritability established in twin and family studies. Genome-wide association studies of major depressive disorder in particular have so far been unsuccessful in detecting genome-wide significant single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Using two recently proposed methods designed to estimate the heritability of a phenotype that is attributable to genome-wide SNPs, we show that SNPs on current platforms contain substantial information concerning the additive genetic variance of major depressive disorder. To assess the consistency of these two methods, we analyzed four other complex phenotypes from different domains. The pattern of results is consistent with estimates of heritability obtained in twin studies carried out in the same population.

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