Interaction Testing and Polygenic Risk Scoring to Estimate the Association of Common Genetic Variants With Treatment Resistance in Schizophrenia

Genetics Workstream of the Schizophrenia Treatment Resistance, Therapeutic Advances (STRATA) Consortium, Schizophrenia Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC)

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About 20\0\line antipsychotic treatment. This clinical presentation, chronic and highly disabling, is known as treatment-resistant schizophrenia (TRS). The causes of treatment resistance and their relationships with causes underlying schizophrenia are largely unknown. Adequately powered genetic studies of TRS are scarce because of the difficulty in collecting data from well-characterized TRS cohorts.To examine the genetic architecture of TRS through the reassessment of genetic data from schizophrenia studies and its validation in carefully ascertained clinical samples.Two case-control genome-wide association studies (GWASs) of schizophrenia were performed in which the case samples were defined as individuals with TRS (n = 10 501) and individuals with non-TRS (n = 20 325). The differences in effect sizes for allelic associations were then determined between both studies, the reasoning being such differences reflect treatment resistance instead of schizophrenia. Genotype data were retrieved from the CLOZUK and Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) schizophrenia studies. The output was validated using polygenic risk score (PRS) profiling of 2 independent schizophrenia cohorts with TRS and non-TRS: a prevalence sample with 817 individuals (Cardiff Cognition in Schizophrenia [CardiffCOGS]) and an incidence sample with 563 individuals (Genetics Workstream of the Schizophrenia Treatment Resistance and Therapeutic Advances [STRATA-G]).GWAS of treatment resistance in schizophrenia. The results of the GWAS were compared with complex polygenic traits through a genetic correlation approach and were used for PRS analysis on the independent validation cohorts using the same TRS definition.The study included a total of 85 490 participants (48 635 [56.9\ male) in its GWAS stage and 1380 participants (859 [62.2\ male) in its PRS validation stage. Treatment resistance in schizophrenia emerged as a polygenic trait with detectable heritability (1\\, and several traits related to intelligence and cognition were found to be genetically correlated with it (genetic correlation, 0.41-0.69). PRS analysis in the CardiffCOGS prevalence sample showed a positive association between TRS and a history of taking clozapine (r2 = 2.03\ P = .001), which was replicated in the STRATA-G incidence sample (r2 = 1.09\ P = .04).In this GWAS, common genetic variants were differentially associated with TRS, and these associations may have been obscured through the amalgamation of large GWAS samples in previous studies of broadly defined schizophrenia. Findings of this study suggest the validity of meta-analytic approaches for studies on patient outcomes, including treatment resistance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-269
Number of pages10
JournalJAMA Psychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by Medical Research Council Centre grant MR/ L010305/1, Medical Research Council Program grant MR/P005748/1, and Medical Research Council Project grants MR/L011794/1 and MC_PC_17212 to Cardiff University and by the National Centre for Mental Health, funded by the Welsh Government through Health and Care Research Wales. This work acknowledges the support of the Supercomputing Wales project, which is partially funded by the European Regional Development Fund via the Welsh Government. Dr Pardiñas was supported by an Academy of Medical Sciences Springboard Award (SBF005\1083). Dr Andreassen was supported by the Research Council of Norway (grants 283798, 262656, 248980, 273291, 248828, 248778, and 223273); KG Jebsen Stiftelsen, South-East Norway Health Authority, and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (grant 847776). Dr Ajnakina was supported by an National Institute for Health Research postdoctoral fellowship (PDF-2018-11-ST2-020). Dr Joyce was supported by the University College London Hospitals/UCL University College London Biomedical Research Centre. Dr Kowalec received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement (793530) from the government of Canada Banting postdoctoral fellowship programme and the University of Manitoba. Dr Sullivan was supported by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet, D0886501), the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme (COSYN, 610307) and the US National Institute of Mental Health (U01 MH109528 and R01 MH077139). The Psychiatric Genomics Consortium was partly supported by the National Institute Of Mental Health (grants R01MH124873). The Sweden Schizophrenia Study was supported by the National Institute Of Mental Health (grant R01MH077139). The STRATA consortium was supported by a Stratified Medicine Programme grant to Dr MacCabe from the Medical Research Council (grant MR/L011794/1), which funded the research and supported Drs Pardiñas, Smart, Kassoumeri, Murray, Walters, and MacCabe. Dr Smart was supported by a Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care South London at King’s College Hospital National Health Service Foundation Trust. The AESOP (US) cohort was funded by the UK Medical Research Council (grant G0500817). The Belfast (UK) cohort was funded by the Research and Development Office of Northern Ireland. The Bologna (Italy) cohort was funded by the European Community’s Seventh Framework program (HEALTH-F2-2010–241909, project EU-GEI). The Genetics and Psychosis project (London, UK) cohort was funded by the UK National Institute of Health Research Specialist Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health, South London and the Maudsley National Health Service Mental Health Foundation Trust (SLAM) and the Institute
of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience at King’s College London; Psychiatry Research Trust; Maudsley Charity Research Fund; and the European Community’s Seventh Framework program (HEALTH-F2-2009-241909, project EU-GEI).
The Lausanne (Switzerland) cohort was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (grants 320030_135736/1, 320030-120686, 324730-144064, 320030-173211, and 171804); the National Center of Competence in Research Synaptic Bases of Mental Diseases from the Swiss National Science Foundation (grant 51AU40_125759); and Fondation Alamaya. The Oslo (Norway) cohort
was funded by the Research Council of Norway (grant 223273/F50, under the Centers of Excellence funding scheme, 300309, 283798) and the South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority (grants 2006233, 2006258, 2011085, 2014102, 2015088, and 2017-112). The Paris (France) cohort was funded by European Community’s Seventh Framework program (HEALTH-F2-2010–241909, project EU-GEI). The Prague (Czech Republic) cohort was funded by the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic (grant NU20-04-00393). The Santander (Spain) cohort was funded by the following grants to Dr Crespo-Facorro: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (grants FIS00/3095, PI020499, PI050427, and PI060507), Plan Nacional de Drogas Research (grant 2005-Orden sco/3246/2004), SENY Fundatio Research (grant 2005-0308007), Fundacion Marques de Valdecilla (grant A/02/07, API07/011) and Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and the European Fund for Regional Development (grants SAF2016-76046-R and SAF2013-46292-R). The West London (UK) cohort was funded by The Wellcome Trust (grants 042025, 052247, and 064607).

Data Availability Statement

Summary statistics from the treatment-resistant schizophrenia interaction genome-wide association study can be downloaded from


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