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Study Uncovers New Details About Genetics of Suicide

A new study appearing in Molecular Psychiatry has identified a number of loci associated with suicide, adding to the body of data suggesting that genetics play a role in the behavior. Recent research has linked genetics with both suicidal behavior and different psychiatric disorders that are known to contribute to such behavior. In the new study, a team led by scientists from the University of Utah and Janssen Research & Development performed a meta-analysis for suicide death using 3,765 cases from Utah and 6,572 populational controls. A meta-analysis for suicidal behavior — which includes both suicide deaths and attempts — across 8,315 cases and 256,478 psychiatric or populational controls was also performed. They identify one locus in the gene neuroligin 1 (NLGN1) with genome-wide significance. Importantly, NLGN1 encodes a member of a family of neuronal cell surface proteins with members that act as splice site-specific ligands for beta-neurexins (NRXN) with potential roles in synaptogenesis. The NRXN-NLGN pathway, the study's authors note, has been implicated in suicide, autism, and schizophrenia. Other findings include loci associated with suicide attempts.

The Scan

Open Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas Team Introduces Genomic Data Collection, Analytical Tools

A study in Cell Genomics outlines open-source methods being used to analyze and translate whole-genome, exome, and RNA sequence data from the Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas.

Neurological Outcomes Linked to Innate Immune Features After Cardiac Arrest

Researchers reporting in Med dig into immune features found a few hours after cardiac arrest that correspond with neurological outcomes.

Mouse Study Finds Circadian Rhythm-Related Gene Expression Changes Linked to Sleep Apnea

A paper in PLOS Biology reveals tissue-specific circadian rhythm and gene expression patterns in an intermittent hypoxia-based mouse model of obstructive sleep apnea.

Polygenic Risk Score to Predict Preeclampsia, Gestational Hypertension in Pregnant Women

Researchers in Nature Medicine provide new mechanistic insights into the development of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, which may help develop therapeutics.