TS-EUROTRAIN - Projects

The genetic epidemiology of tics and comorbidity with OCD: a genetic epidemiological twin-family study (WP2)

Objectives: 1. To identify the relative contributions of genetic and environmental (family as well as unique) influences to tic and OC symptoms using a twin sample. 2. To estimate quantitative as well as qualitative genetic differences between men and women. 3. To identify interactions between genetic factors and life events on tic occurrence in men and women.

Fellow ESR6
Host institution: Utrecht University
Duration
: 36 months    
Supervisor: D.C.Cath, UU; Co-supervisor: Z. Tümer, KC; Associated partner: D.I. Boomsma, VU; Secondment: RUNMC, SENSAA

Tasks and methodology: The data for this study have been gathered in a longitudinal survey study in pm 6,500 twins and their family members totalling n=16,896 subjects registered with the Netherlands Twin Register (Associated partner). Since 1991, every two to four years twins and their family members have received surveys containing questions about somatic and emotional health, personality, life events, perinatal circumstances and lifestyle. In 2008 (the 8th wave of collection) a 10 item tic list has been added to the data collection, along with questionnaires on OC symptoms. Using model fitting procedures, comparing monozygotic and dizygotic pairs and family members, we will investigate the extent to which genetic and environmental influences underlying tics and OC symptoms are shared. Further, in the majority of this sample DNA has been collected and genotyped. Structural equation modeling will be used, along with genetic association analysis.

  • Task 1: Perform univariate structural equation model fitting procedures to determine genetic and environmental contributions to tic symptoms in a large twin-family tic sample, and estimate quantitative and qualitative sex differences.
  • Task 2: Perform bivariate structural equation model fitting procedures to determine to what extent tics and OC symptoms share genetic and environmental factors in a large twin-family tic sample, and to estimate quantitative and qualitative sex differences with respect to underlying genetic and environmental contributions.
  • Task 3: Determine the role of GXE underlying tics and OC symptoms in a large twin family population sample.
  • Task 4: Perform GWAS to identify SNPs of interest for tics in the twin-family sample (data analysis together with RUNMC and KC).

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