November 27, 2020

Enhanced Brain Imaging Genetics in UK Biobank

UK Biobank is a major prospective epidemiological study that is carrying out detailed multimodal brain imaging on 100,000 participants, and includes genetics and ongoing health outcomes. As a step forwards in understanding genetic influence on brain structure and function, in 2018 we published genome-wide associations of 3,144 brain imaging-derived phenotypes, with a discovery sample of 8,428 UKB subjects. Here we present a new open resource of GWAS summary statistics, resulting from a greatly expanded set of genetic associations with brain phenotypes, using the 2020 UKB imaging data release of approximately 40,000 subjects. The discovery sample has now almost tripled (22,138), the number of phenotypes increased to 3,935 and the number of SNPs increased to 17 million. For the first time, we include associations on the X chromosome. Previously we had found 148 replicated clusters of associations between genetic variants and imaging phenotypes; here we find 692 replicating clusters of associations, including 12 on the X chromosome. We describe some of the newly found associations, focussing particularly on the X chromosome. All summary statistics are openly available for interactive viewing and download on the "BIG40" open web server.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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