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Region Hovedstaden - en del af Københavns Universitetshospital

Delineating heritable and Environmental Risk Factors in Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders: A nation-wide Twin Study”.

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This PhD project has been carried out at the Center for Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CNSR) / Lundbeck Foundation Center for Clinical Intervention and Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CINS), Mental Health Center Glostrup, University of Copenhagen and the Functional Imaging Unit, Rigshospitalet Glostrup.
The thesis is based on data collected as part of the Vulnerability Indicators of Psychosis study (VIP), which is a combined clinical and register-based twin study. Twin pairs concordant or discordant for a diagnosis within the schizophrenia spectrum as well as healthy control twin pairs were recruited nation-wide by linking the Danish Twin Register with the Psychiatric Central Research Register. The overall aim of the VIP study was to identify candidate endophenotypes and to examine early environmental risk factors and how these may interact with a genetic vulnerability for schizophrenia, by focusing on deep phenotyping of multiple modalities. The current PhD project includes data on cognition, brain volumes and (genetic and environmental) risk factors. The clinical data was combined with register data from the Danish Medical Birth Register and the Danish Civil Registration System.
The study was motivated by a desire to gain a better understanding of genetic and environmental risk factors in schizophrenia spectrum disorders and how these influence the level of cognitive performance. Cognitive impairments are core symptoms of schizophrenia spectrum disorders and current available treatments show limited effect on these symptoms. We examined genetic and environmental associations between cognition and schizophrenia spectrum liability to elucidate underlying mechanisms of the co-occurrence between psychosis and cognitive deficits. Previous research of this sort has mainly focused on measures of general intelligence. However, low levels of intelligence do not account for all the observed cognitive deficits in schizophrenia patients and we therefore examined several specific cognitive functions. Further, we aimed to delineate how intelligence and brain pathology influence the relationship between specific cognitive functions and schizophrenia risk. Finally, we combined genetic and multiple environmental risk factors and examined the independent and interactive effects on schizophrenia spectrum disorders.
FinansieringskildeIntern støtte (Offentlig)
ForskningsprogramRegion Hovedstaden Psykiatris forskningsfond
Beløb1.465.000,00 Danske Kroner

ID: 57246731