Navigation Links
McLean: Improvements are needed for accuracy in gene-by-environment interaction studies
Date:9/8/2011

Belmont, MAA new study from McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School and the University of Colorado concludes that genetic research drawing correlations between specific genes, environmental variables and the combined impact they have on the development of some psychiatric illnesses needs additional scrutiny and replication before being accepted as true.

McLean Hospital investigator Laramie Duncan, PhD, and co-author Matthew Keller, PhD, at the University of Colorado conducted a comprehensive review of the first decade of research looking at how specific genes and environmental variables interact to influence psychiatric disorders including depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), alcohol abuse and suicidal behaviors. The study, "A Critical Review of the First 10 Years of Candidate Gene-by-Environment Interaction Research in Psychiatry," is now available online ahead of print publication in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

"Based on our calculations and data from related fields, we estimate that many of the positive findings in this particular area of research may (unintentionally) be incorrect," said Duncan. "What we suggest, to be certain about such correlations, is a focus on the cornerstone of scientific investigationwhich is replication. The more we can replicate original findings in follow-up studies, the more we can be sure the results are accurate."

Duncan stressed that her paper is not meant to call for skepticism about the existence of gene-by-environment interactions, or psychiatric research in general, but to shed light on the fact that consistent, replicable results deserve more attention than novel findings and indirect replications.

"Genetic research is like trying to identify a needle in a haystack and statistically, it is predicable that investigators will find and report false positives," said Duncan. "To separate the wheat from the chaff, we need to do follow up studies and replicate the outcomes. That's the only way we can differentiate between accurate findings and the inevitable false positives."

Duncan, who also holds appointments at the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School, came upon her research topic while preparing to conduct a study much like the ones she reviewed in her paper. However, in the course of reviewing relevant literature, she noticed trends that prompted her to subject the data to additional statistical tests. When the numbers suggested reason for concern, Duncan's research plans shifted focus.

Duncan and her co-author categorized each of the 103 research studies conducted in the field of gene-by-environment interaction research in psychiatry between 2000 and 2009 as either novel--representing the first reports of particular interactions--or replication studiesefforts to confirm other researchers' results. After analyzing the data, they found that the rate of published significant novel results far outnumbered the rate of replicated results of the same studies. Past reviews have observed that novel findings are more likely to be published but are also more likely to be false positives.

"Upon comparing novel with replication studies, we realized that the many discrepancies are likely a result of publication bias toward positive findings," said Duncan.

According to Duncan and Keller, the tendency to favor publishing significant results over non-significant results is common in research, due both to the desire of publications to showcase groundbreaking findings, and to the decision of authors' not to submit null findings. But, Duncan warns that this bias can be misleading, if one is unaware of it and does not take into account in interpreting the validity of published findings.

"Publication bias is problematic because it produces a distorted representation of findings in an area of study," said Duncan. "Through our research we found that 96 percent of novel studies were significant compared with just 27 percent of replication attempts, suggesting that novel findings appear much stronger than they actually are."


'/>"/>

Contact: Adriana Bobinchock
abobinchock@partners.org
617-855-2110
McLean Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Improvements in embryonic preimplantation genetic screening techniques
2. Microreactors: Small scale chemistry could lead to big improvements for biodegradable polymers
3. Key nutrient in maternal diet promises dramatic improvements for people with Down syndrome
4. Womens support groups make dramatic improvements on neonatal survival rates
5. Government-led efforts targeting eating habits of children needed to curb worldwide obesity epidemic
6. Increased protection urgently needed for tunas
7. Biomaterial banks for research -- clear strategies and recommendations needed
8. Further research needed to develop evidence-based nutrition guidelines for cancer survivors
9. New approach needed to prevent major systemic failures
10. Wheat resistance genes failing, new approach needed to stop flies
11. More research needed on diet and environmental influences on childhood asthma
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)... 2017 KEY FINDINGS The global ... a CAGR of 25.76% during the forecast period of ... factor for the growth of the stem cell market. ... MARKET INSIGHTS The global stem cell market is ... geography. The stem cell market of the product is ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... March 30, 2017 The research team of ... three-dimensional (3D) fingerprint identification by adopting ground breaking 3D fingerprint minutiae ... realm of speed and accuracy for use in identification, crime investigation, ... cost. ... A research ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... CENTRE, N.Y. , March 27, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ... Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics ... Outpatient EMR Adoption Model sm . In addition, ... 12% of U.S. hospitals using an electronic medical ... CHS for its high level of EMR usage ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/9/2017)... Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech Holdings announced today ... which its ProCell stem cell therapy prevents limb ... The Company, demonstrated that treatment with ProCell resulted ... saved as compared to standard bone marrow stem ... resulted in reduction of therapeutic effect.  ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... 09, 2017 , ... The Giving Tree Wellness Center announces ... needs of consumers who are incorporating medical marijuana into their wellness and health ... As operators of two successful Valley dispensaries, The Giving Tree’s two founders, Lilach ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... genomic technologies, launched its ProxiMeta™ Hi-C metagenome deconvolution product, featuring the first ... accompanying cloud-based bioinformatics software to perform Hi-C metagenome deconvolution using their own ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... On Tuesday, ... webinar on INSIGhT, the first-ever adaptive clinical trial for glioblastoma (GBM). The featured ... event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: