Common mechanisms for type 2 diabetes and psychosis: Findings from a prospective birth cohort.
Schizophrenia research 2019 ; 223: 227-235.
PubMed ID : 32828613
PMCID : PMC7758839
Psychosis and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are commonly comorbid and may share pathophysiologic mechanisms. To investigate shared genetic variation and inflammation as potential common mechanisms, we tested: (i) associations between genetic predisposition for T2DM and psychotic experiences and psychotic disorder in young adults; (ii) the association between genetic predisposition for schizophrenia and insulin resistance (IR), a precursor of T2DM; and (iii) whether these associations are mediated by childhood inflammation.
Psychotic experiences (PEs), psychotic disorder and IR were assessed at age 18. Polygenic risk scores (PRS) for T2DM and schizophrenia were derived based on large genome-wide association studies. Associations between PRS and psychotic/IR outcomes were assessed using regression analysis based on 3768 ALSPAC birth cohort participants with complete data. Inflammatory markers C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) measured at age 9 were used in regression and mediation analyses.
Genetic predisposition for T2DM was associated with PEs (adjusted OR = 1.21; 95% CI, 1.01-1.45) and psychotic disorder (adjusted OR = 1.51; 95% CI, 1.04-2.03) at age 18 in a linear dose-response fashion. Genetic predisposition for schizophrenia was weakly associated with IR (adjusted OR = 1.10; 95% C·I, 0.99-1.22) at age 18. The association between genetic risk for T2DM and PEs was partly mediated by childhood CRP (p = .040).
Comorbidity between psychosis and T2DM may be partly underpinned by shared genes and inflammation. A summation of minor genetic variation representing lifetime risk for T2DM at conception may predispose individuals to psychosis in adulthood by influencing physiologic changes, such as low-grade inflammation, detectable as early as childhood.