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This study investigates if genetic factors could contribute to the high rate of mood disorders reported in a U.S. community known to have a restricted early founder population (confirmed here through runs of homozygosity analysis). Polygenic scores (PGSs) for eight common diseases, disorders, or traits, including psychiatric disorders, were calculated in 274 participants (125 mood disorder cases) who each reported three or four grandparents born in the community. Ancestry-matched controls were selected from the UK Biobank (UKB; three sets of N = 1,822 each). The mean PGSs were significantly higher in the community for major depression PRS (p = 2.1 × 10-19 , 0.56 SD units), bipolar disorder (p = 2.5 × 10-15 , 0.56 SD units), and schizophrenia (p = 3.8 × 10-21 , 0.64 SD units). The PGSs were not significantly different between the community participants and UKB controls for the traits of body mass index, Type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease, and chronotype. The mean PGSs for height were significantly lower in the community sample compared to controls (-0.21 SD units, p = 1.2 × 10-5 ). The results are consistent with enrichment of polygenic risk factors for psychiatric disorders in this community.

Original publication




Journal article


Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet

Publication Date





367 - 375


bipolar disorder, major affective disorders, major depressive disorders, partially isolated population, polygenic risk load, Bipolar Disorder, Depressive Disorder, Major, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Genome-Wide Association Study, Humans, Multifactorial Inheritance