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Investigation of gene-environment interactions in relation to tic severity.


Tourette syndrome (TS) is a neuropsychiatric disorder with involvement of genetic and environmental factors. We investigated genetic loci previously implicated in Tourette syndrome and associated disorders in interaction with pre- and perinatal adversity in relation to tic severity using a case-only (N = 518) design. We assessed 98 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) selected from (I) top SNPs from genome-wide association studies (GWASs) of TS; (II) top SNPs from GWASs of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and autism spectrum disorder (ASD); (III) SNPs previously implicated in candidate-gene studies of TS; (IV) SNPs previously implicated in OCD or ASD; and (V) tagging SNPs in neurotransmitter-related candidate genes. Linear regression models were used to examine the main effects of the SNPs on tic severity, and the interaction effect of these SNPs with a cumulative pre- and perinatal adversity score. Replication was sought for SNPs that met the threshold of significance (after correcting for multiple testing) in a replication sample (N = 678). One SNP (rs7123010), previously implicated in a TS meta-analysis, was significantly related to higher tic severity. We found a gene-environment interaction for rs6539267, another top TS GWAS SNP. These findings were not independently replicated. Our study highlights the future potential of TS GWAS top hits in gene-environment studies.

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