B4128 - Interplay between genetic risk for metabolic syndrome and mental illness on childhood development outcomes - 15/08/2022

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
William Reay | The University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia (Australia)
Dr Dylan Kiltschewskij, Dr Kirrilly Pursey , L/Prof Clare Collins, Dr Erin Clarke, Professor Murray Cairns
Title of project: 
Interplay between genetic risk for metabolic syndrome and mental illness on childhood development outcomes
Proposal summary: 

Individuals with a mental health condition are more likely to develop metabolic syndrome, which is a collection of risk factors for heart disease like elevated blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Conversely, those with metabolic syndrome are also at higher risk of mental illness. This relationship can be partially explained by factors like lifestyle and medication; however, shared biology also influences the cardiovascular system and brain. For example, there is emerging evidence that there are genetic risk factors that are related to both mental health and cardiovascular disease. The impact of this genetic risk for both disorders remains poorly understood in children and adolescents. Given early intervention is important for both mental illness and heart disease, understanding these relationships may assist to identify how best to implement early intervention. This study will investigate individuals with high genetic risk for both mental health conditions and heart disease to establish whether this impacts their psychological and physical development.

Impact of research: 
This study will further unravel the complex relationship between genetic risk for mental health conditions and heart disease. Specifically, these data will demonstrate whether there is an interplay between genetic risk for these two classes of disorders and clinically important outcomes in children/adolescents. These analyses using data from children and adolescents is particularly impactful as it may indicate markers of high genetic risk load that can be subjected to further investigation for risk stratification and precision intervention. Moreover, to our knowledge this study will be the first to test whether diet quality and specific nutrient intake can modify some of these associations, which would be valuable to inform future intervention studies to explore these hypotheses. This study also represents collaboration between clinical dieticians and geneticists, which are important relationships to increase the impact of genetic findings.
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 15 August, 2022
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 15 August, 2022
Genetics, Mental health, Polygenic risk scoring , Genetics