Understanding the development of mental disorders: How does genetic risk manifest across age, gender and environmental factors? (MoBa-Psych)

Project description for MoBa-Psych


Mental disorders are highly heritable conditions that constitute a leading cause of disability and impaired life quality. Advancing our understanding of early risk signs is urgently needed to improve early detection of mental disorders, and to identify potential intervention targets and optimal timing of interventions. Recent advances in genetic methods and collection of biological samples in population cohorts has made it possible to prospectively examine the manifestations (i.e., signs, symptoms and disorders) of directly measured genetic risk for mental disorders. This project is in a unique position to generate novel and valuable insights by using state-of-the-art molecular genetic methods and rich data on children, mothers and fathers from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa). Access to genome-wide-association study summary data from the large international Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (N > 900,000) allows us to calculate, for more than 95,000 MoBa participants, an indicator of genetic risk for each of five mental disorders: autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder. While studies have begun to examine these manifestations, central unanswered questions remain. The project will provide novel knowledge about how genetic risk for mental disorders is expressed at different stages of development and the potential influences of gender and environmental exposures.

Contact person 

A man with a beard

Laurie Hannigan




Anne-Siri Øyen

Last updated 1/30/2024