Psychiatric phenotypes are currently defined according to sets of descriptive criteria. Although many of these phenotypes are heritable, it would be useful to know whether any of the various diagnostic categories in current use identify cases that are particularly helpful for biological-genetic research.
To use genome-wide genetic association data to explore the relative genetic utility of seven different descriptive operational diagnostic categories relevant to bipolar illness within a large UK case-control bipolar disorder sample.
We analysed our previously published Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium (WTCCC) bipolar disorder genome-wide association data-set, comprising 1868 individuals with bipolar disorder and 2938 controls genotyped for 276122 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that met stringent criteria for genotype quality. For each SNP we performed a test of association (bipolar disorder group v. control group) and used the number of associated independent SNPs statistically significant at P