• Queen Mary University of London
  • Barts Health NHS
  • Bradford NHS
  • Manchester Uni

S00015: Brain consortium for Genes & Health

S00015: Brain consortium for Genes & Health

Lay summary

a. Please provide information on the aims of the proposed research including the research question(s) that you are aiming to answer and the health condition(s) under investigation

Over 1/3rd of the population experience mental health problems during their life. The most common of these are depression and anxiety disorders. Mental illnesses are usually caused by a mix of inherited as well as environmental factors. Neurological disorders, such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis are similar, in that both genetic and environmental factors contribute to the development of the disease. The vast majority of genetic studies in psychiatry and neurology have focused on European ancestry populations. To help lead efforts to study these disorders in non-European ancestry, we would like to find out how many people in the Genes and Health study have mental health and/or neurological problems. Our aim is also to study the biological background of these disorders. To do this, we will use the medical records (primary care or secondary records linked to Genes & Health data for which ethical approval is already granted) to identify individuals who have experienced mental health or neurological problems of interest. We will then test whether any genetic variants are seen more often in these people. Some gene variants have already been linked to these problems through previous research and we will test whether they are also related to these illnesses in the participants of Genes and Health.

b. How will your research improve health?

Mental health and neurological problems are very common. We hope to identify specific needs with respect to prevention, diagnosis and treatment of individuals of Pakistani and Bangladeshi heritage. Our work could also identify genetic variants that cause these disorders. These could provide insights into the disease development and potentially suggest novel targets for drug development. The findings would have important implications for future research priorities, and for considering social, cultural and ethical issues in the recognition and care of brain disorders of varying types of genetic aetiology.

c. How does your research meet the other purposes of Genes & Health?

Taken together mental and neurological disorders (neuropsychiatric disorders) account for ~½ of the burden of disease. The lack of diversity in genetic studies of psychiatric and neurological disorders has been recognised as a severe problem. For example, there may be genetic variants in Bangladeshi and Pakistani populations that are very strongly associated with neuropsychiatric illness, which are completely absent in other populations. Failure to identify them would mean that there would not be an option to test for these variants in a clinical setting and valuable diagnostic information would be missed. Ultimately, the underrepresentation of non-European ancestry populations could affect who benefits from medical advances through genomic science. Variations by ancestry may hold clues to aetiology, and may also suggest finding of global health significance.

d. Please give a non-technical description of how the research will be undertaken

This study aims to understand the genetic causes of and genetic risks for neuropsychiatric illness in the Bangladeshi and Pakistani populations. This study may mean that we learn more about the genetic causes of these illnesses in all populations, as well as providing specialised knowledge of the illnesses in Pakistanis and Bangladeshis in particular. This information may help us develop new drugs or predictive tests. In the future it may be possible to identify the specific cause of neuropsychiatric illnesses in some families, which would mean that information can be provided about the risk for other family members, and maybe which drugs would be best to choose to treat the family members with mental illness. To do this work, we will go through the medical record data for Genes & Health participants and identify people with mental health and/or neurological problems. We will also look at other common diseases and demographic and social characteristics of the participants We will describe which groups are more often reporting mental health problems. We will then link this information with the genetic data from Genes & Health participants, which consists of data on millions of genetic variants. Our analysis will test whether specific genetic variations are seen more frequently in individuals with mental health problems. We will operate within the rules of Genes and Health. We will ensure that results of our genetic and laboratory studies are anonymous and that participants in the study cannot be identified through these results.

e. Please state the approximate number of volunteers to be included (i.e. whether the full cohort or a subset)

We request access to the full cohort.

Investigators

Prof. Kamaldeep Bhui QMUL

Dr Nicholas Bass UCL

Title Dr Name Karoline Surname Kuchenbaecker Institution UCL Email k [dot] kuchenbaecker [at] ucl [dot] ac [dot] uk Address UCL Division of Psychiatry, Maple House, 149 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7NF Tel 020 3108 6230 Title Dr Name Hilary Surname Martin Institution Wellcome Sanger Institute Email hcm [at] sanger [dot] ac [dot] uk Address Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton, CB101SA, Cambridgeshire, UK Tel 01223496820 Title Dr Name Andrew Surname McQuillin Institution UCL Email a [dot] mcquillin [at] ucl [dot] ac [dot] uk Address UCL Division of Psychiatry, Maple House, 149 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7NF Tel 020 3108 2181 Title Prof Name Henry Surname Houlden Institution UCL Institute of Neurology Email h [dot] houlden [at] ucl [dot] ac [dot] uk Address UCL Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG. Tel 02034484249 Title Dr Name Radhika Surname Kandaswamy Institution King’s College London Email radhika [dot] kandaswamy [at] kcl [dot] ac [dot] uk Address SGDP Centre, IOPPN, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF Tel 02078485271 Title Dr Name Ruth Surname Dobson Institution Preventive Neurology Unit, QMUL Email ruth [dot] dobson [at] qmul [dot] ac [dot] uk Address Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Charterhouse Sq, London EC1m 6BQ Tel 0207 882 6463 Title Dr Name Charles Surname Marshall Institution Preventive Neurology Unit, QMUL Email charles [dot] marshall [at] qmul [dot] ac [dot] uk Address Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Charterhouse Sq, London EC1M 6BQ Tel 02078823528 Title: Dr Name: Naaheed Surname: Mukadam Institution: UCL Email: n [dot] mukadam [at] ucl [dot] ac [dot] uk Address: Division of Psychiatry, Maple House, 149 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7NF Tel: 02076799251 Title: Dr Name: Gerome Surname: Breen Institution: KCL Email: gerome [dot] breen [at] kcl [dot] ac [dot] uk Address: Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre; Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience; King’s College London; Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF Tel: 02078480409 Title Prof Name Huw Surname Morris Institution UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology Email h [dot] morris [at] ucl [dot] ac [dot] uk Address U3/99, Upper 3rd Floor, Department of Clinical and Movement Neuroscience, Royal Free Campus NW3 2PF Tel 07581 387 678 Title: prof Name: Gill Surname: Livingston Institution: UCL Email: g [dot] livingston [at] ucl [dot] ac [dot] uk Address: Division of Psychiatry, Maple House, 149 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7NF Tel: 02076799435 Title Dr Name Alastair Surname Noyce Institution Preventive Neurology Unit, QMUL Email a [dot] noyce [at] qmul [dot] ac [dot] uk Address Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Charterhouse Sq, London EC1M 6BQ Tel 02078825841 Title: Dr Name: Anna Surname: Need Institution: QMUL Email: a [dot] need [at] qmul [dot] ac [dot] uk Address: Dawson Hall, Charterhouse Square, London, EC1M 6BQ Tel: 07944 189 037 Title: Professor Name: Muhammad Surname: Ayub Institution: Queen’s University. Kingston, Ontario, Canada Email: ma84 [at] queensu [dot] ca Address: 191 Portsmouth Avenue Kingston ON Canada K7M 8A6 Tel +1 613 549 7944 F +1 613 549 7387 Title: Dr Name: James Surname: Knowles Institution: SUNY Downstate Medical Center Email: james [dot] knowles [at] downstate [dot] edu Address: Department of Cell Biology, MSC5, 450 Clarkson Avenue, BSB2-5, Brooklyn, NY, 11203 Tel: +1 718-270-1014