Insulin resistance: Genetic associations with depression and cognition in population based cohorts.

08:00 EDT 6th April 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Insulin resistance: Genetic associations with depression and cognition in population based cohorts."

Insulin resistance, broadly defined as the reduced ability of insulin to exert its biological action, has been associated with depression and cognitive dysfunction in observational studies. However, it is unclear whether these associations are causal and whether they might be underpinned by other shared factors. To address this knowledge gap, we capitalized on the stability of genetic biomarkers through the lifetime, and on their unidirectional relationship with depression and cognition. Specifically, we determined the association between quantitative measures of cognitive function and depression and genetic instruments of insulin resistance traits in two large-scale population samples, the Generation Scotland: Scottish Family Health Study (
SFHS; N = 19,994) and in the UK Biobank (N = 331,374). In the
SFHS, the polygenic risk score (PRS) for fasting insulin was associated with verbal intelligence and depression while the PRS for the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance was associated with verbal intelligence. Despite this overlap in genetic architecture, Mendelian randomization analyses in the
SFHS and in the UK Biobank samples did not yield evidence for causal associations from insulin resistance traits to either depression or cognition. These findings may be due to weak genetic instruments, limited cognitive measures and insufficient power but they may also indicate the need to identify other biological mechanisms that may mediate the relationship from insulin resistance to depression and cognition.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Experimental neurology
ISSN: 1090-2430


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

The discipline studying genetic composition of populations and effects of factors such as GENETIC SELECTION, population size, MUTATION, migration, and GENETIC DRIFT on the frequencies of various GENOTYPES and PHENOTYPES using a variety of GENETIC TECHNIQUES.

A syndrome with excessively high INSULIN levels in the BLOOD. It may cause HYPOGLYCEMIA. Etiology of hyperinsulinism varies, including hypersecretion of a beta cell tumor (INSULINOMA); autoantibodies against insulin (INSULIN ANTIBODIES); defective insulin receptor (INSULIN RESISTANCE); or overuse of exogenous insulin or HYPOGLYCEMIC AGENTS.

Diminished effectiveness of INSULIN in lowering blood sugar levels: requiring the use of 200 units or more of insulin per day to prevent HYPERGLYCEMIA or KETOSIS. It can be caused by the presence of INSULIN ANTIBODIES or the abnormalities in insulin receptors (RECEPTOR, INSULIN) on target cell surfaces. It is often associated with OBESITY; DIABETIC KETOACIDOSIS; INFECTION; and certain rare conditions. (from Stedman, 25th ed)


The change in gene frequency in a population due to migration of gametes or individuals (ANIMAL MIGRATION) across population barriers. In contrast, in GENETIC DRIFT the cause of gene frequency changes are not a result of population or gamete movement.

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