N Engl J Med. Again we thank the reviewer for this point. CAS Polygenic risk scores (PRSs) are simple models that have been instrumental to analyze genetic architecture and predict disease risk of complex traits, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder .
We thank the reviewer for this excellent suggestion. We have also provided another example where the strongest association for a PRS is a risk factor instead of outcome itself: “Although many of the PRS in our analysis may be the best polygenic predictors for their target disease/trait, there may be other examples similar to this where the strongest association for an outcome is not the corresponding PRS. The application of PRS is a topic which has sparked considerable recent debate, particularly concerning whether scores are relevant for clinical decision making (Warren, 2018). TREM2 in neurodegenerative diseases. Prior to analysis, each PRS was normalised to have a mean of zero and a standard deviation (SD) of one. Nat Genet. The estimated proportion of variation tagged by all SNPs is = 0.24, while the genetic heritability of AD is 0.74 [20, 21]. One such approach in this paradigm is Mendelian randomization (MR), a method by which genetic variants are leveraged as instrumental variables to investigate causal relationships between modifiable risk factors and disease outcomes (Davey Smith and Ebrahim, 2003; Davey Smith and Hemani, 2014).
Polygenic risk scores (PRS), commonly defined as the sum of trait-associated SNPs weighted by their effect sizes, harness findings from GWAS to provide an overall measure of an individual’s genetic liability to develop disease (Torkamani et al., 2018). The indirect effect was calculated as the product of all IVW effect estimates derived for all relationships along the causal pathway of interest (i.e.
Li YJ, Pericak-Vance MA, Haines JL, Siddique N, McKenna-Yasek D, Hung WY, et al. The largest meta-analysis performed by Nalls et al. We thank the reviewer for this point. Arch Neurol. Several quality controls need to be applied to the base and target datasets. Since the PLINK score function uses a linear scoring system for calculating PRS, all quality control needs to be performed on the input data before running the calculation. Neurodegenerative diseases are proteinopathies; there are the accumulation and aggregation of a pathogenic protein in the brain. The authors argue that without the weighing, they avoid overfitting of the PRS. We also used a related approach to investigate the effect of these multiple risk factors on gout susceptibility, known as multivariable MR (Sanderson et al., 2018). Hardy J, Selkoe DJ.
To add some clarity to this point, we have rephrased this sentence as: ‘In contrast, we did not detect strong evidence of a causal effect in the opposite direction for these associations (i.e. The PRS has also been used to detect individuals at greater risk for developing AD, and proved to be successful, even in those individuals that were noncarriers of the APOE ε4 allele. J Alzheimers Dis. As a demonstration of this, we have evaluated the associations between all PRS and self-reported gout in the UK Biobank study (Supplementary file 1m). the effect of BMI on triglycerides, the effect of triglycerides on urate and the effect of urate on gout).’. To demonstrate this, we have investigated the results from a phenome-wide evaluation of schizophrenia genetic liability. 2014;46(9):989–93. These scores allow researchers to predict whether it is likely that someone will develop a disease during their lifetime. We focus on the Nicknack ZAD-ZNF gene, which is evolutionarily young, poorly retained in Drosophila species, and evolves under strong positive selection. The hallmark protein tends to be different for each disease  but the overlap is striking (Table 1). The extent of overlap among the genetic architecture shared among neurodegenerative diseases is surprisingly high.
Querying PubMed for publications that employed PRS for ND provides a snapshot of the quantitative effort thus far invested for the different traits. In general, the results from the GWAS in the International Genomics of Alzheimer’s Project (IGAP) study have been used to model the PRS . We selected traits from the UK Biobank study (Sudlow et al., 2015) which had p<0.05 in the heritability analyses conduct by the Neale lab (Neale Lab, 2017). The authors present a well qualified study pinpointing to the limitations of such an approach for investigating truly causal relationships. The power of this approach is constrained by the number of subjects analyzed in whole genome sequencing projects, which thus far is lower than the number of subjects included in GWAS. Your article has been reviewed by three peer reviewers, one of whom is a member of our Board of Reviewing Editors, and the evaluation has been overseen by Mark McCarthy as the Senior Editor. I assume that this unexpected positive correlation is because the PRS was calculated based on BMI-adjusted adiponectin. MR is typically limited to using SNPs which survive conventional GWAS corrections (i.e. Modeling linkage disequilibrium increases accuracy of polygenic risk scores. 2015;77(4):582–91 PRS was used to show a larger genetic burden in early onset PD cases compared to late onset ones. From these observations, we propose that cohesin with loop extrusion activity is stopped by preexisting CAR-bound cohesins, generating positioned loops. The findings from this analysis therefore appear to recapitulate known biology regarding the established causal pathway to gout (Matsubara et al., 1989), (Li et al., 2017). Purcell S, Neale B, Todd-Brown K, Thomas L, Ferreira MAR, Bender D, et al. 2011;32(11):2106 e1–6. Our findings suggest that innovation for rapidly changing heterochromatin functions might generally explain the essentiality of many evolutionarily dynamic ZAD-ZNF genes in insects. Overall, we undertook 89,262 tests to investigate the association between 162 different PRS derived from GWAS (Supplementary file 1a) and 551 complex traits from the UK Biobank study (Supplementary file 1b). Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. Although resources such as the UK Biobank provide an unparalleled opportunity to investigate the determinants of complex disease as we have done in this study, findings regarding genetic liability may not be generalizable to individuals who are not of European descent. 2016;52(4):1157–76. What are the functional consequences of neurocognitive deficits in schizophrenia?
Lu Q, Li B, Ou D, Erlendsdottir M, Powles RL, Jiang T, et al. JAMA Neurol, 2018;75(3):360–66. In the future, the atlas could be used to identify possible relationships between a wide range of individual traits and diseases.
Chang D, Nalls MA, Hallgrímsdóttir IB, Hunkapiller J, van der Brug M, Cai F, et al. Genetic instruments for BMI, TG and urate were analysed simultaneously to evaluate the joint effect of these risk factors on gout risk. Polygenic risk scores only show correlations, not causations.
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