Send to

Choose Destination
Front Genet. 2016 Aug 15;7:149. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2016.00149. eCollection 2016.

Associations between Polygenic Risk for Psychiatric Disorders and Substance Involvement.

Author information

Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis St. Louis, MO, USA.
Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis, MO, USA.
Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London London, UK.


Despite evidence of substantial comorbidity between psychiatric disorders and substance involvement, the extent to which common genetic factors contribute to their co-occurrence remains understudied. In the current study, we tested for associations between polygenic risk for psychiatric disorders and substance involvement (i.e., ranging from ever-use to severe dependence) among 2573 non-Hispanic European-American participants from the Study of Addiction: Genetics and Environment. Polygenic risk scores (PRS) for cross-disorder psychopathology (CROSS) were generated based on the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium's Cross-Disorder meta-analysis and then tested for associations with a factor representing general liability to alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, nicotine, and opioid involvement (GENSUB). Follow-up analyses evaluated specific associations between each of the five psychiatric disorders which comprised CROSS-attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (AUT), bipolar disorder (BIP), major depressive disorder (MDD), and schizophrenia (SCZ)-and involvement with each component substance included in GENSUB. CROSS PRS explained 1.10% of variance in GENSUB in our sample (p < 0.001). After correction for multiple testing in our follow-up analyses of polygenic risk for each individual disorder predicting involvement with each component substance, associations remained between: (A) MDD PRS and non-problem cannabis use, (B) MDD PRS and severe cocaine dependence, (C) SCZ PRS and non-problem cannabis use and severe cannabis dependence, and (D) SCZ PRS and severe cocaine dependence. These results suggest that shared covariance from common genetic variation contributes to psychiatric and substance involvement comorbidity.


cannabis; cocaine; comorbidity; depression; polygenic; schizophrenia; substance

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Frontiers Media SA Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center