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Creators/Authors contains: "Georgitsi, Marianthi"

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  1. Abstract

    Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by vocal and motor tics lasting more than a year. It is highly polygenic in nature with both rare and common previously associated variants. Epidemiological studies have shown TS to be correlated with other phenotypes, but large-scale phenome wide analyses in biobank level data have not been performed to date. In this study, we used the summary statistics from the latest meta-analysis of TS to calculate the polygenic risk score (PRS) of individuals in the UK Biobank data and applied a Phenome Wide Association Study (PheWAS) approach to determine the association of disease risk with a wide range of phenotypes. A total of 57 traits were found to be significantly associated with TS polygenic risk, including multiple psychosocial factors and mental health conditions such as anxiety disorder and depression. Additional associations were observed with complex non-psychiatric disorders such as Type 2 diabetes, heart palpitations, and respiratory conditions. Cross-disorder comparisons of phenotypic associations with genetic risk for other childhood-onset disorders (e.g.: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD], autism spectrum disorder [ASD], and obsessive-compulsive disorder [OCD]) indicated an overlap in associations between TS and these disorders. ADHD and ASD had a similar directionmore »of effect with TS while OCD had an opposite direction of effect for all traits except mental health factors. Sex-specific PheWAS analysis identified differences in the associations with TS genetic risk between males and females. Type 2 diabetes and heart palpitations were significantly associated with TS risk in males but not in females, whereas diseases of the respiratory system were associated with TS risk in females but not in males. This analysis provides further evidence of shared genetic and phenotypic architecture of different complex disorders.

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  2. Background Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a rare autoimmune disorder affecting the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Here, we investigate the genetic architecture of MG via a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of the largest MG data set analysed to date. Methods We performed GWAS meta-analysis integrating three different data sets (total of 1401 cases and 3508 controls). We carried out human leucocyte antigen (HLA) fine-mapping, gene-based and tissue enrichment analyses and investigated genetic correlation with 13 other autoimmune disorders as well as pleiotropy across MG and correlated disorders. Results We confirmed the previously reported MG association with TNFRSF11A (rs4369774; p=1.09×10 −13 , OR=1.4). Furthermore, gene-based analysis revealed AGRN as a novel MG susceptibility gene. HLA fine-mapping pointed to two independent MG loci: HLA-DRB1 and HLA-B . MG onset-specific analysis reveals differences in the genetic architecture of early-onset MG (EOMG) versus late-onset MG (LOMG). Furthermore, we find MG to be genetically correlated with type 1 diabetes (T1D), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), late-onset vitiligo and autoimmune thyroid disease (ATD). Cross-disorder meta-analysis reveals multiple risk loci that appear pleiotropic across MG and correlated disorders. Discussion Our gene-based analysis identifies AGRN as a novel MG susceptibility gene, implicating for the first time a locus encoding a protein (agrin)more »that is directly relevant to NMJ activation. Mutations in AGRN have been found to underlie congenital myasthenic syndrome. Our results are also consistent with previous studies highlighting the role of HLA and TNFRSF11A in MG aetiology and the different risk genes in EOMG versus LOMG. Finally, we uncover the genetic correlation of MG with T1D, RA, ATD and late-onset vitiligo, pointing to shared underlying genetic mechanisms.« less