Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder with a lifetime risk of about 1%, characterized by hallucinations, delusions and cognitive deficits, with heritability estimated at up to 80%. We performed a genome-wide association study of 3,322 European individuals with schizophrenia and 3,587 controls. Here we show, using two analytic approaches, the extent to which common genetic variation underlies the risk of schizophrenia. First, we implicate the major histocompatibility complex. Second, we provide molecular genetic evidence for a substantial polygenic component to the risk of schizophrenia involving thousands of common alleles of very small effect. We show that this component also contributes to the risk of bipolar disorder, but not to several non-psychiatric diseases.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





748 - 752


International Schizophrenia Consortium, Humans, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Case-Control Studies, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Major Histocompatibility Complex, Gene Frequency, Multifactorial Inheritance, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Alleles, Genome, Human, Models, Genetic, Europe, Female, Male, Genetic Variation, Genome-Wide Association Study