Schizophrenia polygenic risk scores in youth mental health: preliminary associations with diagnosis, clinical stage and functioning.
Crouse JJ., Carpenter JS., Iorfino F., Lin T., Ho N., Byrne EM., Henders AK., Wallace L., Hermens DF., Scott EM., Wray NR., Hickie IB.
BACKGROUND: The schizophrenia polygenic risk score (SCZ-PRS) is an emerging tool in psychiatry. AIMS: We aimed to evaluate the utility of SCZ-PRS in a young, transdiagnostic, clinical cohort. METHOD: SCZ-PRSs were calculated for young people who presented to early-intervention youth mental health clinics, including 158 patients of European ancestry, 113 of whom had longitudinal outcome data. We examined associations between SCZ-PRS and diagnosis, clinical stage and functioning at initial assessment, and new-onset psychotic disorder, clinical stage transition and functional course over time in contact with services. RESULTS: Compared with a control group, patients had elevated PRSs for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression, but not for any non-psychiatric phenotype (for example cardiovascular disease). Higher SCZ-PRSs were elevated in participants with psychotic, bipolar, depressive, anxiety and other disorders. At initial assessment, overall SCZ-PRSs were associated with psychotic disorder (odds ratio (OR) per s.d. increase in SCZ-PRS was 1.68, 95% CI 1.08-2.59, P = 0.020), but not assignment as clinical stage 2+ (i.e. discrete, persistent or recurrent disorder) (OR = 0.90, 95% CI 0.64-1.26, P = 0.53) or functioning (R = 0.03, P = 0.76). Longitudinally, overall SCZ-PRSs were not significantly associated with new-onset psychotic disorder (OR = 0.84, 95% CI 0.34-2.03, P = 0.69), clinical stage transition (OR = 1.02, 95% CI 0.70-1.48, P = 0.92) or persistent functional impairment (OR = 0.84, 95% CI 0.52-1.38, P = 0.50). CONCLUSIONS: In this preliminary study, SCZ-PRSs were associated with psychotic disorder at initial assessment in a young, transdiagnostic, clinical cohort accessing early-intervention services. Larger clinical studies are needed to further evaluate the clinical utility of SCZ-PRSs, especially among individuals with high SCZ-PRS burden.