Proposal summaries

These are research proposals that have been approved by the ALSPAC exec. The titles include a B number which identifies the proposal and the date on which the proposals received ALSPAC exec approval.

Click here to export results in Word format.

B3448 - Genome-wide association studies of prenatal depression in ALSPAC - 21/01/2020

B number: 
B3448
Principal applicant name: 
Jian Zhao | MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit, University of Bristol (UK)
Co-applicants: 
Prof Deborah Lawlor
Title of project: 
Genome-wide association studies of prenatal depression in ALSPAC
Proposal summary: 

Prenatal depression has been reported to have associations with adverse pregnancy/ birth outcomes in previous observational studies. However, due to residual confounding, the causal effect of prenatal depression on these outcomes still remain unclear. Mendelian randomisation works well as a novel causal inference approach with utilising genetic variants as instrument variables. This aim of this project is to conduct genome wide association studies (GWAS) of prenatal depression to facilitate Mendelian randomisation studies in perinatal epidemiology area.

Impact of research: 
The results from ALSPAC will contribute to the knowledge on genetic effect on prenatal depression. Furthermore, causal evidence between prenatal depression and adverse pregnancy/ birth outcomes will be enhanced after Mendelian randomisation studies.
Date proposal received: 
Friday, 17 January, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 21 January, 2020
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Mental health, Pregnancy - e.g. reproductive health, postnatal depression, birth outcomes, etc., GWAS, Genome wide association study

B3443 - Physical activity and mental health among adolescents and young adults A novel approach using multivariate pattern analysis - 17/01/2020

B number: 
B3443
Principal applicant name: 
Matteo Christian Sattler | NIHR Bristol Biomedical Research Centre - Nutrition Theme, Bristol Dental School, University of Bristol (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Nicola Wiles, PhD, Sam Leary, PhD, Andy Ness, PhD, Eivind Aadland, PhD, Olav Martin Kvalheim, PhD, Mireille van Poppel, PhD, Rodrigo Antunes Lima, PhD, Lars Bo Andersen, PhD
Title of project: 
Physical activity and mental health among adolescents and young adults: A novel approach using multivariate pattern analysis
Proposal summary: 

The benefits of physical activity (PA) for mental health are well established. However, little longitudinal evidence is available in adolescents regarding the association between PA and anxiety and depressive symptoms. Especially problematic is our lack of knowledge about the intensity of PA that is needed to prevent or treat clinically relevant symptoms in this critical period of life. This lack of knowledge can be strongly attributed to the way we currently analyze the intensity information from accelerometry. Data are ‘simplified’ and collapsed into only a few intensities (e.g. light, moderate-to-vigorous), which are then included in statistical models. This causes substantial loss of information and challenges the detection of the relative importance of specific intensities. However, using a larger number of intensities is not possible since traditional models (i.e. multiple linear regression) cannot handle their closed structure and multicollinearity. A novel approach is multivariate pattern analysis (MPA) (specifically: partial least squares regression [PLSR]) which was introduced to PA research by Aadland et al. in 2018. MPA overcomes these shortcomings and can be used to describe the PA spectrum with many intensities (e.g. > 20 variables) while determining most important ones. This study uses MPA to investigate the association between the entire PA intensity spectrum at age 14 years and future anxiety and depressive symptoms throughout adolescence and young adulthood.

Ref: Aadland E, Kvalheim OM, Anderssen SA, Resaland GK, Andersen LB. The multivariate physical activity signature associated with metabolic health in children. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2018;15(1):77.

Impact of research: 
Accelerometers capture detailed but complex PA information. In practice, researchers only use a fraction of the available information (e.g. time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity [MVPA]) to establish associations with health outcomes. MPA allows us to use the entire intensity spectrum of PA which results in a more accurate description of PA behaviors. MPA will help us to use the intensity information from accelerometry more appropriately and to derive more reliable conclusions about how different PA intensities relate to mental health. Regarding anxiety and depressive symptoms, there is a lack of evidence for the most relevant intensities. Thus, this will be the first study worldwide applying MPA in a longitudinal setting to identify PA intensities most strongly associated with future anxiety and depressive symptoms in adolescents and young adults. Both PA guidelines for the general population and clinical practice would strongly benefit from this knowledge.
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 15 January, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Friday, 17 January, 2020
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Behaviour - e.g. antisocial behaviour, risk behaviour, etc., Mental health, Statistical methods, Physical activity, Epidemiology, Mental health, Statistical analysis

B3444 - LUNG DEVELOPMENT GENES AND ADULT LUNG FUNCTION REPLICATION in ALSPAC - 17/01/2020

B number: 
B3444
Principal applicant name: 
Raquel Granell | University pf Bristol
Co-applicants: 
Dr Cosetta Minelli, Prof Seif Shaheen
Title of project: 
LUNG DEVELOPMENT GENES AND ADULT LUNG FUNCTION: REPLICATION in ALSPAC
Proposal summary: 
Impact of research: 
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 15 January, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Friday, 17 January, 2020
Keywords: 
Genetic epidemiology (including association studies and mendelian randomisation)

B3446 - Chronic Airway Diseases Early Stratification CADSET - 17/01/2020

B number: 
B3446
Principal applicant name: 
Raquel Granell | MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit (IEU)
Co-applicants: 
Erik Melén, Professor of pediatrics, Anke-Hilse Maitland van der Zee, Professor
Title of project: 
Chronic Airway Diseases Early Stratification (CADSET)
Proposal summary: 
Impact of research: 
Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 16 January, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Friday, 17 January, 2020
Keywords: 
Epidemiology

B3447 - Polygenic predictions of blood pressure traits - 17/01/2020

B number: 
B3447
Principal applicant name: 
Karsten Øvretveit | Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Co-applicants: 
Dr. Kaitlin Wade, PhD
Title of project: 
Polygenic predictions of blood pressure traits
Proposal summary: 

Essential hypertension (HTN) is a leading, preventable risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have provided major insight into the genetic architecture of blood pressure (BP) traits, in part due to increasingly large sample sizes. Moreover, novel approaches to genetic risk quantification have been shown to improve upon traditional methods by more accurately incorporating the growing number of genetic markers with observable effects on common complex traits into a single construct, leading to greater predictive power and clinical translation. This project aims to derive and validate risk scores for BP traits and assess their predictive power for HTN and related morbidity and mortality.

Impact of research: 
We expect our research to make important contributions to the calculation of ORS in the field of genetic research. Additionally, our adult sample span 35 years, allowing us to look at not only cross-sectional BP measurements, but also changes over time. This by itself represents a unique opportunity to investigate genetic susceptibilities to complex traits and the addition of the ALSPAC cohort would allow us to follow genetic markers with an observed effect on BP from the beginning to the end of life.
Date proposal received: 
Friday, 17 January, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Friday, 17 January, 2020
Keywords: 
Genetic epidemiology (including association studies and mendelian randomisation), Hypertension, DNA sequencing, Blood pressure, Cardiovascular, Genetic epidemiology, Genetics

B3445 - Placentas and health across the life-course of two generations - 17/01/2020

B number: 
B3445
Principal applicant name: 
Abigail Fraser | Population Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Mr Joseph Gilbody, Dr Gemma Clayton, Prof Deborah Lawlor
Title of project: 
Placentas and health across the life-course of two generations
Proposal summary: 

Placental size directly correlates with its ability to provide developing feotues with the nutrients needed for growth while in the womb, differing placenta size has been linked with health issues both during pregnancy and for both the child and the mother later in life. In this project we propose to study the effect of placenta size on health outcomes of the child and mother both post pregnancy and throughout their lifespans.

Impact of research: 
This project will help to increase our understanding of the relationship between placental variation and diseases throughout the life course, potentially leading to the development of preventative treatments for negative health outcomes in later life associated with placental variation.
Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 16 January, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Friday, 17 January, 2020
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Pregnancy - e.g. reproductive health, postnatal depression, birth outcomes, etc., Statistical methods, Offspring

B3442 - The biological background of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder - 14/01/2020

B number: 
B3442
Principal applicant name: 
Hannah Sallis | MRC IEU
Co-applicants: 
Ville Karhunen, Gemma Sharp, Marcus Munafo, Claire Prince, Marjo-Riitta Järvelin
Title of project: 
The biological background of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
Proposal summary: 

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by persistent patterns of inattention, hyperactivity and/or impulsivity, which interfere with normal functioning or development. ADHD is highly heritable, with heritability estimates from twin studies at around 75%. It is also suggested that epigenetic modifications – alterations in the DNA not changing the sequence itself – play a role in ADHD aetiology. In addition, there is known shared genetic liability between obesity and ADHD. Maternal obesity is a known risk indicator for offspring ADHD, however it is not clear whether this is due to the shared genetic predisposition, or possible intrauterine mechanisms.

Impact of research: 
Adding information to the biological background of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 13 January, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 14 January, 2020
Keywords: 
Genetic epidemiology (including association studies and mendelian randomisation), Behaviour - e.g. antisocial behaviour, risk behaviour, etc., Developmental disorders - autism, Mental health, Statistical methods, Cohort studies - attrition, bias, participant engagement, ethics, Childhood - childcare, childhood adversity, Epigenetics, Genetic epidemiology, Statistical methods

B3441 - Changing causes and consequences of underweight overweight and obesity a historical comparison of the UK and Norway 1984-202 - 14/01/2020

B number: 
B3441
Principal applicant name: 
Amanda Hughes | University of Bristol (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Changing causes and consequences of underweight, overweight, and obesity: a historical comparison of the UK and Norway, 1984-202
Proposal summary: 

In high-income countries, underweight is largely ignored in health research, despite a clear link with worse health and higher mortality risk. But in the UK, where changes to welfare policy have been accompanied by an explosion in foodbank use, social differences in underweight must be reassessed. This project will be the first comprehensive investigation of present-day inequalities in low body weight in Britain. Considering adults, children and adolescents, we will describe the extent of inequalities, and identify the most vulnerable groups. We will shed light on causes, by comparing inequalities in present-day UK with inequalities in other policy contexts: the UK in the 1990s and 2000s, and Norway from the 1980s to the present day.
Starkly raised risk of underweight was recently found among British adult jobseekers, and higher risk of thinness among younger disadvantaged children. Reported after substantial changes to welfare policy, it is not clear if such inequalities existed before those changes, if similar patterns are seen in other countries, or which other disadvantaged groups are affected. We will find out when these patterns first emerged in the UK, by comparing data from the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s. To see if they only occur in certain policy contexts – strongly suggesting they are avoidable - we will also use data from Norway, which in the same period had different welfare policies and a lower poverty rate. To identify other vulnerable groups, we will look at underweight among adults in low-income employment, and children and adolescents in households affected by unemployment and low-income employment.
The project therefore fills three urgent needs: to describe the extent of inequalities in low body weight, to identify groups of vulnerable adults and children, and to understand the causes of these inequalities. Policymakers currently do not have the knowledge required to consider inequalities across the full body weight range, and this project will fill that gap.

Impact of research: 
1. Unlike with obesity, we simply do not know enough about inequalities in low body weight for decision-makers to consider them in policy. This project will provide that knowledge. 2. By providing the first large-scale evidence of social inequalities in body weight across the entire range, results can be used by non-profit groups aiming to reduce the impact of poverty on nutrition and health. 3. Through both routes, the people who ultimately stand to benefit most will be individuals and families affected by low income, unemployment, and changes to welfare policy.
Date proposal received: 
Friday, 10 January, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 14 January, 2020
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Obesity, Statistical methods, BMI, Childhood - childcare, childhood adversity, Social science

B3419 - The relationship between cognitive and neural development and a childs environment - 10/01/2020

B number: 
B3419
Principal applicant name: 
Duncan Astle | University of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Ms Tess Smith, Mr Tochukwu Nweze, Dr Rogier Kievit
Title of project: 
The relationship between cognitive and neural development and a child's environment
Proposal summary: 

In the UK 14 million people live in poverty. Four million of these are children. The level of child poverty is rising, and the rate is projected to accelerate in coming years. Growing up in a deprived environment can have a profoundly negative effect on a child’s development. Children from deprived backgrounds are more likely to be placed in special education, fail courses, and complete fewer years of schooling. But the adversities children encounter extend well beyond economic hardship and incorporate multiple familial factors like chaotic home life, poor parental mental and physical health, lack of community support, poor schooling and communication difficulties. These factors have a well-documented impact on multiple child outcomes including educational attainment, mental health, and behaviour. This is a global problem. Up to 50% of children and adolescents growing up worldwide experience at least one episode of childhood adversity in early life: 30% of all mental health problems are attributable to such adversity. The effects are also persistent – early adversity can set a life-long trajectory associated with poor physical and mental well-being and significantly worse occupational and economic outcomes. This results in an inter-generational cycle of disadvantage where deprivation impacts each subsequent generation. Supporting young people who face adversity is one of the major modern challenges for educators, practitioners and policy-makers, as they work to reduce educational under-attainment, poor economic outcomes and address the burgeoning mental health crisis.

Yet not all children who face adversity go on to experience poor outcomes: certain factors appear to insulate children from hardship, such that they demonstrate resilience (broadly defined as succeeding in a particular domain, such as education, despite experiencing adversity). Resilience within mental health is an increasingly recognised phenomenon, but our knowledge about which factors foster resilience across a broader range of outcomes, different populations and in response to diverse sources of adversity is currently limited. Understanding the cross-domain factors that promote resilience is vital to drive the development of interventions that improve the outcomes of child and adolescent victims of adversity. This is the purpose of our project. We want to explore how different environmental factors interact with cognitive and brain development, whether particular features of a child's environment are most strongly linked with these outcomes, and whether some factors foster resilience.

Impact of research: 
The research will benefit national policy-makers, practitioners working in educational and clinical practice, those responsible for child welfare in other institutions, and ultimately children and families who are at risk.
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 7 January, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Friday, 10 January, 2020
Keywords: 
Mental health - Psychology, Psychiatry, Cognition, Cognitive impairment, Statistical methods, Development

B3437 - Examining the association between alcohol use cognitive functioning and self-harm - 10/01/2020

B number: 
B3437
Principal applicant name: 
Liam Mahedy | University of Bristol
Co-applicants: 
Prof. Marcus Munafo, Miss Daisy Drummond, Miss Kajal Shah, Miss Maddy Cooper
Title of project: 
Examining the association between alcohol use, cognitive functioning and self-harm
Proposal summary: 

Alcohol use during adolescence is a major public health concern, in particular because the brain is still developing and undergoing considerable structural and functional changes. Identifying risk factors that influence adolescent alcohol use is important to appropriately target prevention programs. One area of research that has received considerable attention is the role cognitive functioning (e.g., working memory and inhibition) play as risk for involvement in adolescent alcohol use. There is also a large literature showing a relationship between substance use and self-harm. It is possible that alcohol may increase the risk of self-harm by lowering inhibitions and impairing working memory, which is central to decision making. There is also evidence to suggest that there may be a bi-directional relationship, as several longitudinal studies have reported an association between adolescent self-harm and alcohol problems in adulthood. Although previous prospective studies have examined this association, they are often limited by the use of small sample size, different alcohol use phenotype (i.e. bingeing vs frequency), different follow-up periods, or lack of control for relevant confounders.

Impact of research: 
This research project has the potential to inform the development of cognitive training as intervention/prevention strategies aimed at reducing alcohol initiation and self-harm.
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 8 January, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Friday, 10 January, 2020
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Addiction - e.g. alcohol, illicit drugs, smoking, gambling, etc., Behaviour - e.g. antisocial behaviour, risk behaviour, etc., Cognitive impairment, Mental health, Statistical methods, Cognition - cognitive function, Statistical methods, Alcohol use, self-harm

B3438 - Novel statistical methods for the analysis of high-dimensional epigenetic data - 10/01/2020

B number: 
B3438
Principal applicant name: 
Haeran Cho | University of Bristol (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Prof Kate Tilling, Dr Josine Min, Dr Claire Gormley, Prof Jonathan Rougier
Title of project: 
Novel statistical methods for the analysis of high-dimensional epigenetic data
Proposal summary: 

We propose to address the problem of handling large-scale genome-wide DNA methylation data. To this end, we will develop a novel technique for clustering DNA methylation (DNAm) sites which will aid reducing the complexity of the subsequent EWAS. For example, a DNAm site that is hypo-methylated in the smoker cohort but hyper-methylated in non-smoker one merits further analysis for significant association with smoking, while those sites exhibiting no difference in the two cohorts does not.
We will investigate the use of algorithms for large matrix factorisation under constraints to provide a natural clustering of DNAm sites, and study what statistical guarantee is achievable under which conditions. To verify the suitability of the proposed method, we propose to use the DNA methylation data available from ARIES.

Impact of research: 
The findings from the proposed study will help lay a solid foundation for addressing the additional challenges brought on by epigenetic data analysis include (i) handling of continuous exposures beyond discrete variables (e.g., smoker/non-smoker), and (ii) accounting for cell heterogeneity. In particular, further research into (ii) is highly relevant since samples are measured at bulk rather than at the single-cell level and the methylome obtained for each sample contains the signals aggregated from distinct cell types. Few existing methods can identify the risk-DNAm sites for each individual cell type, missing the opportunity to obtain finer-scale results in EWAS. We plan to address the above problems based on the insights gained from the proposed research.
Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 9 January, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Friday, 10 January, 2020
Keywords: 
Statistics/methodology, DNA sequencing, Statistical methods, Genetic epidemiology, Genome wide association study, Statistical methods

B3440 - PLACENTA - 29/01/2020

B number: 
B3440
Principal applicant name: 
Abigail Fraser | University of Bristol (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Sue Ring, Prof Tony W Parks, Prof Janet Catov, Alix Groom, Chris Nellaker, Prof Brian Cox
Title of project: 
PLACENTA
Proposal summary: 

Few studies have examined a large number of placenta from general population samples. There are therefore many unanswered questions about the links between placental abnormalities and maternal and offspring health in pregnancy and beyond. ALSPAC is unique, with some 10000 stored placentas from the original ALSPAC pregnancies in the early 90s. We will generate pathology data on this collection and study placental findings in relations to short term health in mums and their offspring.

Impact of research: 
Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 9 January, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Friday, 10 January, 2020
Keywords: 
Epidemiology

B3439 - A Consolidator Grant to Study the Developmental Trajectories of Physical and Mental Health Multimorbidity in Genetic High-Risk C - 31/01/2020

B number: 
B3439
Principal applicant name: 
van den Bree | Cardiff University (UK)
Co-applicants: 
Professor John MacLeod, Professor Mark Mon-Williams, Professor David van Heel, Professor Sir Michael Owen, Professor James Walters, Professor George Kirov, Professor Peter Holmans, John Wright, Dr Sarah Finer
Title of project: 
A Consolidator Grant to Study the Developmental Trajectories of Physical and Mental Health Multimorbidity in Genetic High-Risk C
Proposal summary: 

A subgroup of people in the population have a change in their genetic make-up that greatly increases their risk of physical disorder and psychiatric disorder. The medical consequences of these genetic changes are however still very poorly understood. Particularly, we don't really know how these changes lead to increased risk of combinations of physical and mental health problems over time. As presence of a physical or mental health problem increases risk of other ones developing, it is important to understand how and why this happens in this high-risk group. Because these genetic changes are rare, it is important to bring together large samples to study their role in medical outcomes properly. This is particularly important if we want to understand how these changes influence the combined risk of physical and mental health problems in different groups within the population, for example young people versus adults, different ethnic groups and groups from different socio-economic backgrounds. To study these important questions, we propose to work together across four large UK studies in which these genetic changes have been established and which have collected rich information on physical and mental health as well as relevant risk factors. The data sets we will work with differ in the age and ethnic and socio-economic background of the participants. We will be able to follow over time how risk of physical and mental health problems influence each other and how this may be different in these different age. ethnic and socioeconomic groups. The findings will have important implications for developing better interventions for this group, for understanding complex medical risks in the population more generally and for insights into the biology of complex medical risks.

Impact of research: 
The impact will be large, as very little is yet known about the medical implication of pathogenic CNVs in the general population. Our papers have been amongst the first to document this however and have found very high risk of physical and mental health problems as well as mortality. Multimorbidity remains virtually undescribed however. There will be important implications for interventions in this population, for insights that will benefit the general population as well as for understanding the biology of multimorbidity.
Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 9 January, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Friday, 10 January, 2020
Keywords: 
Genetic epidemiology (including association studies and mendelian randomisation), A range of physical and mental health conditions, Microarrays, CNVs, PRS, physical health, mental health, cognition, risk factors

B3436 - Mapping the shared genetic architecture of human blood multi-omics phenotypes at cardiovascular disease risk loci - 08/01/2020

B number: 
B3436
Principal applicant name: 
Josine Min | MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit (IEU)
Co-applicants: 
Prof Tom Gaunt, Caroline Relton, Mahsa Sheikhali Babaei
Title of project: 
Mapping the shared genetic architecture of human blood multi-omics phenotypes at cardiovascular disease risk loci
Proposal summary: 

The majority of the disease risk variants identified by genome wide association studies (GWAS) fall inside of non-coding regions, leading to the conclusion that their effects are likely to be mediated by regulation of gene expression or other molecular phenotypes. This highlights the value of utilizing multiple molecular phenotype QTLs (collectively, xQTLs) to establish the link between the regulatory genetic variant (risk allele) and various traits and diseases. In this study we will employ DNA methylation QTL, expression QTL, histone QTL, protein QTL and metabolite QTL data from peripheral blood to map shared genetic influences on multiple intermediate molecular traits in GWAS and EWAS associated loci and investigate the molecular pathways in which they play a role.

Impact of research: 
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 6 January, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 8 January, 2020
Keywords: 
Genetic epidemiology (including association studies and mendelian randomisation)

B3435 - Sex differences in the association of socioeconomic position with cardiovascular health across the life course - 08/01/2020

B number: 
B3435
Principal applicant name: 
Linda O'Keeffe | School of Public Health, University College Cork (UK)
Co-applicants: 
Minhal Ahmed
Title of project: 
Sex differences in the association of socioeconomic position with cardiovascular health across the life course
Proposal summary: 

Socioeconomic differences in cardiovascular health are evident in adulthood. When these inequalities emerge and how they change through the life course is not well understood. Understanding when inequalities in cardiovascular health emerge may inform early life prevention opportunities.

Impact of research: 
This research will provide aetiological understanding on sex differences in cardiovascular health.
Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 2 January, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 6 January, 2020
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Cardiovascular, Statistical methods, Cardiovascular

B3434 - Methylation of the glucocorticoid receptor gene in the development of child psychopathology - 10/02/2020

B number: 
B3434
Principal applicant name: 
Moniek Zeegers | Research Institute of Child Development and Education (Netherlands)
Co-applicants: 
Prof. Geertjan Overbeek
Title of project: 
Methylation of the glucocorticoid receptor gene in the development of child psychopathology
Proposal summary: 
Impact of research: 
Findings from this study will lead to a better understanding of family-system influences on the development of stress-related mental health disorders. Specifically, with this study we will be able—as a first research team worldwide—to identify whether parenting can prospectively predict methylation changes in the glucocorticoid system, and through these changes affect children’s likelihood of developing psychopathology.
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 18 December, 2019
Date proposal approved: 
Friday, 20 December, 2019
Keywords: 
Mental health - Psychology, Psychiatry, Cognition, Mental health, Statistical methods, Parenting

B3431 - Association of Maternal education with DNA-methylation - 16/12/2019

B number: 
B3431
Principal applicant name: 
Giulia Mancano | IEU
Co-applicants: 
Dr Gemma Sharp
Title of project: 
Association of Maternal education with DNA-methylation
Proposal summary: 

Maternal education, a predictor of social-economic status, has been associated with several offspring health outcomes during the life course (e.g. obesity, type 2 diabetes, cognitive function...). The biological mechanisms regulating this association are yet to be understood. Possible mediation in the maternal education-offspring health outcome relationship might be played by DNA-methylation epigenetics markers. We therefore aim to investigate how epigenetics changes are associated to maternal educational attainment.

Impact of research: 
Produce evidence in support or against the association between DNA-methylation and maternal education
Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 12 December, 2019
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 16 December, 2019
Keywords: 
Epigenetics, Microarrays, Maternal educational attainment

B3427 - The effect of historic digit sucking on facial shape at 15 years of age - 16/12/2019

B number: 
B3427
Principal applicant name: 
Stephen Richmond | Cardiff University (UK)
Co-applicants: 
Rashed Alrashed, Dr Renata Medeiros Mirra, Dr Damian Farnell, Dr Alexei Zhurov
Title of project: 
The effect of historic digit sucking on facial shape at 15 years of age.
Proposal summary: 

A previous study in 350 6-year-old children has suggested that digit sucking has no effect on craniofacial parameters but may affect occlusal development. It is reasonable to expect that if digit sucking has an effect on the dentition this also should also influence facial shape. We have a large sample and we should be able to determine whether the frequency of digit sucking and hand used have and long-lasting changes in face shape.
1. Campos MPMS, Valença PAM, Silva GMD, Lima MC, Jamelli SR, Góes
PSA. Influence of head and linear growth on the development of malocclusion at six years of age: a cohort study. Braz Oral Res. 2018 Oct 11;32:e98.

Impact of research: 
Very little data has been explored on digit sucking in a large cohort.
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 10 December, 2019
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 16 December, 2019
Keywords: 
Anthropology, Facial shape and habits, Face shape, Face - face shape

B3429 - Obesity and Inflammation - 16/12/2019

B number: 
B3429
Principal applicant name: 
Komal Satti | Dartmouth-Hitchcock medical center, New Hampshire USA (United States of America)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Obesity and Inflammation
Proposal summary: 

Between 2015 and 2016, obesity affected approximately 13.7 million children and adolescents in the United States. Children with obesity are more likely to have high blood pressure, abnormal lipids and insulin resistance even though overt cardiovascular disease may not develop for decades.Additionally, children with obesity are at increased risk for musculoskeletal and mental health disorders, as well as certain cancers. This project aims to to better understand the development and progression of the metabolic derangement seen with obesity in children as well as the associations with development of comorbidities. Inflammation is considered to be the common link between obesity and its progression to various comorbidities. If we are able to identify an early signal in children with obesity who are more likely to develop diseases such as asthma, cardiovascular disease and cancers we will be able to address the problem in a timely fashion and offer focused intervention and treatment to these high risk children

Impact of research: 
The findings from the proposed study will help lay a solid foundation for future proposed work in the use of metabolic markers to identify and prevent childhood obesity-related diseases. At the successful completion of this project we expect to have gained useful insights into the underlying mechanisms and trends of obesity leading to its end outcomes.
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 10 December, 2019
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 16 December, 2019
Keywords: 
Clinical research/clinical practice, Obesity, Statistical methods, Biological samples -e.g. blood, cell lines, saliva, etc., Biomarkers - e.g. cotinine, fatty acids, haemoglobin, etc., BMI, Breast feeding, Cardiovascular, Growth, Nutrition - breast feeding, diet, Physical - activity, fitness, function

B3432 - Hypothesis-free and pQTL analysis of deep vein thrombosis aetiology a Mendelian randomization study - 16/12/2019

B number: 
B3432
Principal applicant name: 
Emma Vincent | University of Bristol (UK)
Co-applicants: 
Andrei-Emil Constantinescu, Caroline Bull
Title of project: 
Hypothesis-free and pQTL analysis of deep vein thrombosis aetiology: a Mendelian randomization study
Proposal summary: 

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) usually presents as a blood clot which forms in the deep veins of the legs. It can be a life-threatening disease if not identified in time, leading to pulmonary embolism or heart failure. While research have found some risk factors using observational epidemiological studies, little is known about the exact causes of DVT.

Impact of research: 
The likely output of this research will be a publication, contributing to the field of deep vein thrombosis research (DVT). We hope to strengthen evidence for suggested risk factors and to identify novel ones. We hope our study would therefore lead to the advancement of the knowledge of the field and might influence future clinical applications for DVT.
Date proposal received: 
Friday, 13 December, 2019
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 16 December, 2019
Keywords: 
Genetic epidemiology (including association studies and mendelian randomisation), Obesity, Deep vein thrombosis, Statistical methods, Biomarkers - e.g. cotinine, fatty acids, haemoglobin, etc., BMI, Cardiovascular, Genetic epidemiology, Mendelian randomisation

Pages