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Oxford University Press, Brain Communications, 6(4), 2022

DOI: 10.1093/braincomms/fcac271



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Thirty novel sequence variants impacting human intracranial volume

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

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Data provided by SHERPA/RoMEO


Abstract Intracranial volume, measured through magnetic resonance imaging and/or estimated from head circumference, is heritable and correlates with cognitive traits and several neurological disorders. We performed a genome-wide association study meta-analysis of intracranial volume (n = 79 174) and found 64 associating sequence variants explaining 5.0% of its variance. We used coding variation, transcript and protein levels, to uncover 12 genes likely mediating the effect of these variants, including GLI3 and CDK6 that affect cranial synostosis and microcephaly, respectively. Intracranial volume correlates genetically with volumes of cortical and sub-cortical regions, cognition, learning, neonatal and neurological traits. Parkinson’s disease cases have greater and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder cases smaller intracranial volume than controls. Our Mendelian randomization studies indicate that intracranial volume associated variants either increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease and decrease the risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and neuroticism or correlate closely with a confounder.