Associated Genetics and Connectomic Circuitry in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder

Yongbin Wei, Siemon C. de Lange, Jeanne E. Savage, Elleke Tissink, Ting Qi, Jonathan Repple, Marius Gruber, Tilo Kircher, Udo Dannlowski, Danielle Posthuma, Martijn P. van den Heuvel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Schizophrenia (SCZ) and bipolar disorder (BD) are severe psychiatric conditions that can involve symptoms of psychosis and cognitive dysfunction. The 2 conditions share symptomatology and genetic etiology and are regularly hypothesized to share underlying neuropathology. Here, we examined how genetic liability to SCZ and BD shapes normative variations in brain connectivity. Methods: We examined the effect of the combined genetic liability for SCZ and BD on brain connectivity from two perspectives. First, we examined the association between polygenic scores for SCZ and BD for 19,778 healthy subjects from the UK Biobank and individual variation in brain structural connectivity reconstructed by means of diffusion weighted imaging data. Second, we conducted genome-wide association studies using genotypic and imaging data from the UK Biobank, taking SCZ-/BD-involved brain circuits as phenotypes of interest. Results: Our findings showed brain circuits of superior parietal and posterior cingulate regions to be associated with polygenic liability for SCZ and BD, circuitry that overlaps with brain networks involved in disease conditions (r = 0.239, p <.001). Genome-wide association study analysis showed 9 significant genomic loci associated with SCZ-involved circuits and 14 loci associated with BD-involved circuits. Genes related to SCZ-/BD-involved circuits were significantly enriched in gene sets previously reported in genome-wide association studies for SCZ and BD. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that polygenic liability of SCZ and BD is associated with normative individual variation in brain circuitry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-183
Number of pages10
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Issue number2
Early online date2023
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2023


  • Connectivity
  • GWAS
  • Genetics
  • Imaging
  • Polygenic score

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