Investigating the effects of schizophrenia risk variants on white matter integrity using diffusion t
Research Field:Life Sciences
Lead PI:Dr. Gary Donohoe
Abstract:Compromised brain white matter integrity and connectivity is evident in schizophrenic patients as well as genetically high-risk and first-episode subjects. As schizophrenia is a highly heritable disease, genome wide association studies have identified different genetic variants that are associated with the disease and may increase risk of schizophrenia. The application of imaging genetics allows for the elucidation of the effects that these genetic variants may have on the brain. This project will involve the recruitment of schizophrenic patients and control subjects for diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) using a 3T MRI scanner. Subjects will also provide DNA samples for genotyping. White matter integrity will then be assessed and possible differences in white matter integrity between the genotype groups of the patients and control subjects will be investigated. It is hypothesised that subjects possessing the schizophrenia risk variants will display compromised brain white matter integrity in comparison to non-risk carriers.