Mental disorders are very frequent in population and represent an important burden for patients and family, as there are very often chronic and recurrent. The Psychiatric Genetics group of the Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Santiago de Compostela (IDIS), led by Javier Costas, is focused on the study of genetic basis of common mental disorders. As complex traits, mental disorders arise by a combination of multiple genetic and environmental susceptibility factors. Among the genetic factors, there are both common variants of very low effect on risk as well as rare variants of greater effect. Identification of genetic factors, and their interaction with environmental factors, will lead to better understanding of the biological basis of mental disorders. This knowledgement will improve diagnosis, prognosis and management of patients, as a consequence of stratification in more homogeneous subgroups.

The main goals of the Psychiatric Genetics lab are:

  • Identification of genes carrying common variants of susceptibility to psychiatric disorders.
  • Identification of functionally -related gene sets enriched in susceptibility variants.
  • Estimation of polygenic risk  based on the overall effect of the different variants.
  • Identification of rare variants of greater effect on psychiatric risk.
  • Study of genetic susceptibility shared by different psychiatric disorders.
  • Gene x Environment interaction in susceptibility to psychiatric disorders.

We are applying genomic tools such as high-throughput genotyping or next generation sequencing technology to this goal, allowing the study of a range of genetic variations from common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of low effect on susceptibility to rare copy number variants (CNVs) or single nucleotide variants (SNVs) of considerably larger impact. We are centered mainly on schizophrenia, but our research includes substance use disorders, autism spectrum disorders, or obssesive-compulsive disorders.

The Psychiatric Genetics lab is part of:

Researh Network on Primary Health Care in Addictions (RIAPAd)

Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Santiago de Compostela (IDIS)

Grupo de Medicina Xenómica

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