A genome-wide association meta-analysis of prognostic outcomes following cognitive behavioural therapy in individuals with anxiety and depressive disorders

Christopher Rayner, Jonathan R.I. Coleman, Kirstin L. Purves, John Hodsoll, Kimberley Goldsmith, Georg W. Alpers, Evelyn Andersson, Volker Arolt, Julia Boberg, Susan Bögels, Cathy Creswell, Peter Cooper, Charles Curtis, Jürgen Deckert, Katharina Domschke, Samir El Alaoui, Lydia Fehm, Thomas Fydrich, Alexander L. Gerlach, Anja GrocholewskiKurt Hahlweg, Alfons Hamm, Erik Hedman, Einar R. Heiervang, Jennifer L. Hudson, Peter Jöhren, Robert Keers, Tilo Kircher, Thomas Lang, Catharina Lavebratt, Sang-hyuck Lee, Kathryn J. Lester, Nils Lindefors, Jürgen Margraf, Maaike Nauta, Christiane A. Pané-Farré, Paul Pauli, Ronald M. Rapee, Andreas Reif, Winfried Rief, Susanna Roberts, Martin Schalling, Silvia Schneider, Wendy K. Silverman, Andreas Ströhle, Tobias Teismann, Mikael Thastum, Andre Wannemüller, Heike Weber, Hans Ulrich Wittchen, Christiane Wolf, Christian Rück, Gerome Breen*, Thalia C. Eley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)
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Major depressive disorder and the anxiety disorders are highly prevalent, disabling and moderately heritable. Depression and anxiety are also highly comorbid and have a strong genetic correlation (rg ≈ 1). Cognitive behavioural therapy is a leading evidence-based treatment but has variable outcomes. Currently, there are no strong predictors of outcome. Therapygenetics research aims to identify genetic predictors of prognosis following therapy. We performed genome-wide association meta-analyses of symptoms following cognitive behavioural therapy in adults with anxiety disorders (n = 972), adults with major depressive disorder (n = 832) and children with anxiety disorders (n = 920; meta-analysis n = 2724). We estimated the variance in therapy outcomes that could be explained by common genetic variants (h2SNP) and polygenic scoring was used to examine genetic associations between therapy outcomes and psychopathology, personality and learning. No single nucleotide polymorphisms were strongly associated with treatment outcomes. No significant estimate of h2SNP could be obtained, suggesting the heritability of therapy outcome is smaller than our analysis was powered to detect. Polygenic scoring failed to detect genetic overlap between therapy outcome and psychopathology, personality or learning. This study is the largest therapygenetics study to date. Results are consistent with previous, similarly powered genome-wide association studies of complex traits.

Original languageEnglish
Article number150
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalTranslational Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2019

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