Department of Economics and Business Economics

The shared genetic landscape of blood cell traits and risk of neurological and psychiatric disorders

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  • Yuanhao Yang, University of Queensland
  • ,
  • Yuan Zhou, University of Tasmania
  • ,
  • Dale R Nyholt, Queensland University of Technology
  • ,
  • Chloe X Yap, University of Queensland
  • ,
  • Rudolph K Tannenberg, University of Queensland
  • ,
  • Ying Wang, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, Broad Institute
  • ,
  • Yang Wu, University of Queensland
  • ,
  • Zhihong Zhu
  • Bruce V Taylor, University of Tasmania
  • ,
  • Jacob Gratten, University of Queensland

Phenotypic associations have been reported between blood cell traits (BCTs) and a range of neurological and psychiatric disorders (NPDs), but in most cases, it remains unclear whether these associations have a genetic basis and, if so, to what extent genetic correlations reflect causality. Here, we report genetic correlations and Mendelian randomization analyses between 11 NPDs and 29 BCTs, using genome-wide association study summary statistics. We found significant genetic correlations for four BCT-NPD pairs, all of which have prior evidence for a phenotypic correlation. We identified a previously unreported causal effect of increased platelet distribution width on susceptibility to Parkinson's disease. We identified multiple functional genes and regulatory elements for specific BCT-NPD pairs, some of which are targets of known drugs. These results enrich our understanding of the shared genetic landscape underlying BCTs and NPDs and provide a robust foundation for future work to improve prognosis and treatment of common NPDs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100249
JournalCell Genomics
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2023 The Authors.

    Research areas

  • Mendelian randomization, Parkinson's disease, blood cell traits, blood-based biomarkers, genetic correlation, neurological and psychiatric disorders, platelets

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