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A Genetic Locus Associated With Depression: The Iceberg Begins to Melt

  • John I. Nurnberger Jr.
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to John I. Nurnberger Jr., M.D., Ph.D., Indiana University School of Medicine, Neuroscience Building, 320 W. 15th St., Indianapolis, IN 46202.
    Affiliations
    Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana
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      The search for genetic associations with depressive disorders has been long and frustrating. Initial results with genome-wide association studies in psychiatric disorders in general were widely regarded as disappointing when the method was first introduced in 2004 to 2006. It required about 8 years to move from early negative results to much more positive results in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, culminating in the remarkable publication of 108 genome-wide significant loci in schizophrenia in 2014. The major reason for success was sample size. The 2014 publication by the Schizophrenia Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (
      Schizophrenia Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium
      Biological insights from 108 schizophrenia-associated genetic loci.
      ) included more than 30,000 cases of persons with schizophrenia and more than 100,000 control subjects. Initial unsuccessful genome-wide association studies in psychiatric disorders started with about 1000 cases and 1000 control subjects.
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