• EUropean network of national schizophrenia networks studying Gene-Environment Interactions

Why did we set up the study?

Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders have a strong genetic risk. Although many genes are thought to increase the risk of schizophrenia, such genes are either very rare, or only increase risk by a very small amount. At the same time, some non-genetic (called “environmental”) risk factors also increase risk. These include obstetric complications, childhood abuse, cannabis, poverty and ethnic minority status. We believe that both genetic and non-genetic factors may be necessary to lead to psychosis , so we set up the EU-GEI study to investigate how genes and environments interact to affect psychosis risk.

How does it work?

The EU-GEI study is a large, European-wide study of 3000 people in their first episode of psychosis, 1500 of their unaffected siblings and 3000 controls. The study takes place in 12 centres in 6 countries. It is funded by the European Union. We have collected detailed biological, clinical and social data on our participants. We will use this data to see how genetic, clinical and social factors differ between people with and without psychotic disorder. The study is a large collaborative project involving several Universities. The PsyLife group is involved in data collection from one centre, based in Cambridgeshire.

What have we found?

The EU-GEI study is still collecting data from participants. Results from the study should begin to be published in 2015-16. You can find out much more about the EU-GEI study on its website.


Want the science behind the blurb? Follow the links below to the peer-reviewed research papers.

European Network of National Networks studying Gene-Environment Interactions in Schizophrenia (EU-GEI). Identifying Gene-Environment Interactions in Schizophrenia: Contemporary Challenges for Integrated, Large-scale Investigations. Schizophr Bull [Internet]. 2014 Jul;40(4):729–36. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24860087