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Markett S.,University of Bonn | Montag C.,University of Ulm | Heeren B.,University of Bonn | Saryiska R.,University of Ulm | And 4 more authors.
Brain Structure and Function

Functional connections between brain regions constitute the substrate of the human functional connectome, whose topography has been discussed as an endophenotype for psychiatric disorders. Genetic influences on the entire connectome, however, have been rarely investigated so far. We tested for connectome-wide influences of the val158met (rs4860) polymorphism on the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene by applying formal network analysis and eigenvector centrality mapping on the voxel level to resting-state functional magnetic imaging data. This approach finds brain regions that are central in the network by aggregating local and global connectivity patterns, most importantly without the requirement to select regions or networks of interest. The COMT variant linked to high enzyme activity increased network centrality in distributed brain areas that are known to constitute the brain’s default mode network. Further results also indicated a COMT influence on areas implicated in the somatomotor network. These findings are in line with the polymorphism’s alleged role in cognitive processing and its role in psychotic disorders. The study is the first to demonstrate the influence of a functional and behaviorally relevant genetic variant on connectome-wide functional connectivity and is an important step toward establishing the functional connectome as an endophenotype for psychiatric and behavioral phenotypes. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

Ellinor P.T.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Lunetta K.L.,Boston University | Lunetta K.L.,Lung and Blood Institutes Framingham Heart Study | Glazer N.L.,University of Washington | And 80 more authors.
Nature Genetics

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained arrhythmia. Previous studies have identified several genetic loci associated with typical AF. We sought to identify common genetic variants underlying lone AF. This condition affects a subset of individuals without overt heart disease and with an increased heritability of AF. We report a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies conducted using 1,335 individuals with lone AF (cases) and 12,844 unaffected individuals (referents). Cases were obtained from the German AF Network, Heart and Vascular Health Study, the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, the Cleveland Clinic and Massachusetts General Hospital. We identified an association on chromosome 1q21 to lone AF (rs13376333, adjusted odds ratio = 1.56; P = 6.3 × 10 12), and we replicated this association in two independent cohorts with lone AF (overall combined odds ratio = 1.52, 95% CI 1.40-1.64; P = 1.83 × 10 21). rs13376333 is intronic to KCNN3, which encodes a potassium channel protein involved in atrial repolarization. © 2010 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved. Source

Linder N.S.,University of Bonn | Linder N.S.,Life and Brain Center Bonn | Linder N.S.,University of Greifswald | Uhl G.,University of Greifswald | And 8 more authors.

Everyday we choose between a variety of different food items trying to reach a decision that fits best our needs. These decisions are highly dependent on the context in which the alternatives are presented (e.g. labeling). We investigate the influence of cognition on food evaluation, using an fMRI experiment in which subjects saw and bid on different foods labeled with (or without) a widely known German emblem for organically produced food. Increased activity in the ventral striatum was found for foods labeled "organic" in comparison to conventionally labeled food. Between-subject differences in activity were related to actual everyday consumption behavior of organic food. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. Source

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