Genetics and brain morphology

Strike, Lachlan T, Couvy-Duchesne, Baptiste, Hansell, Narelle K, Cuellar-Partida, Gabriel, Medland, Sarah E and Wright, Margaret J (2015) Genetics and brain morphology. Neuropsychology Review, 25 1: 63-96. doi:10.1007/s11065-015-9281-1


Author Strike, Lachlan T
Couvy-Duchesne, Baptiste
Hansell, Narelle K
Cuellar-Partida, Gabriel
Medland, Sarah E
Wright, Margaret J
Title Genetics and brain morphology
Journal name Neuropsychology Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1573-6660
1040-7308
Publication date 2015-03-14
Year available 2015
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1007/s11065-015-9281-1
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 25
Issue 1
Start page 63
End page 96
Total pages 34
Place of publication New York, United States
Publisher Springer New York LLC
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
A wealth of empirical evidence is accumulating on the genetic mediation of brain structure phenotypes. This comes from twin studies that assess heritability and genetic covariance between traits, candidate gene associations, and genome-wide association studies (GWAS) that can identify specific genetic variants. Here we review the major findings from each of these approaches and consider how they inform on the genetic architecture of brain structure. The findings from twin studies show there is a strong genetic influence (heritability) on brain structure, and overlap of genetic effects (pleiotropy) between structures, and between structure and cognition. However, there is also evidence for genetic specificity, with distinct genetic effects across some brain regions. Candidate gene associations show little convergence; most have been under powered to detect effect sizes of the magnitude now expected. GWAS have identified 19 genetic variants for brain structure, though no replicated associations account for more than 1 % of the variance. Together these studies are revealing new insights into the genetic architecture of brain morphology. As the scope of inquiry broadens, including measures that capture the complexity of the brain, along with larger samples and new analyses, such as genome-wide common trait analysis (GCTA) and polygenic scores, which combine variant effects for a phenotype, as well as whole-genome sequencing, more genetic variants for brain structure will be identified. Increasingly, large-scale multi-site studies will facilitate this next wave of studies, and promise to enhance our understanding of the etiology of variation in brain morphology, as well as brain disorders.
Keyword Magnetic resonance imaging
Brain
Genes
Twins
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
Centre for Advanced Imaging Publications
 
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