Genetic link to rapid weight gain from antipsychotics discoveredJuly 17, 2012
July 17, 2012 - Toronto - Scientists have discovered two genetic variants associated with the substantial, rapid weight gain occurring in nearly half the patients treated with antipsychotic medications, according to two studies involving the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).
These results could eventually be used to identify which patients have the variations, enabling clinicians to choose strategies to prevent this serious side-effect and offer more personalized treatment.
"Weight gain occurs in up to 40 per cent of patients taking medications called second-generation or atypical antipsychotics, which are used because they're effective in controlling the major symptoms of schizophrenia," says CAMH Scientist Dr. James Kennedy, senior author on the most recent study published online in the Archives of General Psychiatry.
This weight gain can lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart problems and a shortened life span.
"Identifying genetic risks leading to these side-effects will help us prescribe more effectively," says Dr. Kennedy, head of the new Tanenbaum Centre for Pharmacogenetics, which is part of CAMH's Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute. Currently, CAMH screens for two other genetic variations that affect patients' responses to psychiatric medications.
Each study identified a different variation near the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) gene, which is known to be linked to obesity.
In the Archives of General Psychiatry study, people carrying two copies of a variant gained about three times as much weight as those with one or no copies, after six to 12 weeks of treatment with atypical antipsychotics. (The difference was approximately 6 kg versus 2 kg.) The study had four patient groups: two from the U.S., one in Germany and one from a larger European study.
"The weight gain was associated with this genetic variation in all these groups, which included pediatric patients with severe behaviour or mood problems, and patients with schizophrenia experiencing a first episode or who did not respond to other antipsychotic treatments," says CAMH Scientist Dr. Daniel Müller. "The results from our genetic analysis combined with this diverse set of patients provide compelling evidence for the role of this MC4R variant. Our research group has discovered other gene variants associated with antipsychotic-induced weight gain in the past, but this one appears to be the most compelling finding thus far."
Three of the four groups had never previously taken atypical antipsychotics. Different groups were treated with drugs such as olanzapine, risperidone, aripiprazole or quetiapine, and compliance was monitored to ensure the treatment regime was followed. Weight and other metabolic-related measures were taken at the start and during treatment.
A genome-wide association study was conducted on pediatric patients by the study's lead researcher, Dr. Anil Malhotra, at the Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, NY. In this type of study, variations are sought across a person's entire set of genes to identify those associated with a particular trait. The result pointed to the MC4R gene.
This gene's role in antipsychotic-induced weight gain had been identified in a CAMH study published earlier this year in The Pharmacogenomics Journal, involving Drs. Müller and Kennedy, and conducted by PhD student Nabilah Chowdhury. They found a different variation on MC4R that was linked to the side-effect.
For both studies, CAMH researchers did genotyping experiments to identify the single changes to the sequence of the MC4R gene - known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) - related to the drug-induced weight gain side-effect.
The MC4R gene encodes a receptor involved in the brain pathways regulating weight, appetite and satiety. "We don't know exactly how the atypical antipsychotics disrupt this pathway, or how this variation affects the receptor," says Dr. Müller. "We need further studies to validate this result and eventually turn this into a clinical application."
Media Contact: Michael Torres, Media Relations, CAMH; 416-595-6015
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the world's leading research centres in the area of addiction and mental health. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues.
CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre.
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Related Mental Health Articles:
Food insecurity (FI) affects nearly 795 million people worldwide. Although a complex phenomenon encompassing food availability, affordability, utilization, and even the social norms that define acceptable ways to acquire food, FI can affect people's health beyond its impact on nutrition.
When people think about climate change, they probably think first about its effects on the environment, and possibly on their physical health.
The BioScience Talks podcast features discussions of topical issues related to the biological sciences.
Men who see themselves as playboys or as having power over women are more likely to have psychological problems than men who conform less to traditionally masculine norms, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.
UCSB researchers study the effectiveness of an innovative program designed to help youth learn about mental health.
Engaging the brain's dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DL-PFC) while doing mental math may be connected with better emotional health, according to Duke researchers.
A new graduate education program at the University of Missouri has received nearly $700,000 from the Health Resources and Services Administration in the US Department of Health and Human Services to train psychology doctoral candidates in integrated, primary health care settings, in an effort to improve health care for underserved populations with mental health and physical disorders.
The loss of private health insurance from an employer can lead to poorer mental and physical health as older adults transition to early retirement, according to a study by Georgia State University.
Here's another reason to start saving for that beach house: new research suggests that residents with a view of the water are less stressed.
This study compares information available in a typical electronic health record (EHR) with data from insurance claims, focusing on diagnoses, visits, and hospital care for depression and bipolar disorder.
Related Mental Health Reading:
Crazy: A Father's Search Through America's Mental Health Madness
by Pete Earley (Author)
Former Washington Post reporter Pete Earley had written extensively about the criminal justice system. But it was only when his own son-in the throes of a manic episode-broke into a neighbor's house that he learned what happens to mentally ill people who break a law.
This is the Earley family's compelling story, a troubling look at bureaucratic apathy and the countless thousands who suffer confinement instead of care, brutal conditions instead of treatment, in the "revolving doors" between hospital and jail. With mass deinstitutionalization, large numbers of state mental... View Details
All the Things We Never Knew: Chasing the Chaos of Mental Illness
by Sheila Hamilton (Author)
"A boldly beautiful page-turner about loving and losing someone with mental illness. I’ll be recommending this absorbing memoir for years to come." Cheryl Strayed, best-selling author of Wild
Even as a reporter, Sheila Hamilton missed the signs as her husband David’s mental illness unfolded before her. By the time she had pieced together the puzzle, it was too late. Her once brilliant and passionate partner was dead within six weeks of a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, leaving his young daughter and wife without so much as a note to explain his actions, a plan to... View Details
No One Cares About Crazy People: The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America
by Ron Powers (Author)
"Extraordinary and courageous . . . No doubt if everyone were to read this book, the world would change."---New York Times Book Review
New York Times-bestselling author Ron Powers offers a searching, richly researched narrative of the social history of mental illness in America paired with the deeply personal story of his two sons' battles with schizophrenia.
From the centuries of torture of "lunatiks" at Bedlam Asylum to the infamous eugenics era to the follies of the anti-psychiatry movement to the current landscape in which too many families struggle alone... View Details
Varcarolis' Foundations of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing: A Clinical Approach, 7e
by Margaret Jordan Halter PhD APRN (Author)
Using a practical clinical perspective, Varcarolis' Foundations of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing: A Clinical Approach, 7th Edition provides a clear understanding of the often-intimidating subject of psychiatric mental health nursing. Clinical chapters follow the nursing process framework and progress from theory to application, preparing you for practice with real-world examples. New to this edition are the latest DSM-5 guidelines along with coverage of trauma, pediatric mental health, and QSEN competencies. From new lead author Dr. Margaret Jordan Halter, this... View Details
Mental Health: Personalities: Personality Disorders, Mental Disorders & Psychotic Disorders
by Carol Franklin (Author)
At some point in your life you will probably start to think you are losing your mind, or that someone you know is in danger of losing theirs. The truth is that modern life is extremely stressful; there are many demands on your time and never enough hours in the day.
However, being at the end of your tether, worn out and overwhelmed is not the same as having a mental disorder. In fact mental health covers a wide range of illnesses including those which most people are aware of, such as Schizophrenia (which is classed as a psychotic disorder). What you may not be... View Details
Mental Health Emergencies: A Guide to Recognizing and Handling Mental Health Crises
by Nick Benas (Author), Michele Hart (Author)
Ready reference to mental and emotional health crises and concerns, providing overviews and expert guidance on more serious problems. Ideal for first-responders, teachers, counselors, and human resource professionals.
Developed from best-practices of psychiatry, psychology and mental health counseling, Mental Health Emergencies is a guide to providing much-needed care and support to the people in distress who most need help including self-injury, eating disorders, substance abuse, psychosis, and suicidal thoughts.
Mental Health Emergencies will... View Details
Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Success: A Q&A Review Applying Critical Thinking to Test Taking
by Cathy Melfi Curtis MSN RN-BC (Author), Audra Baker RN PMHNP APRN ANCC (Author)
2 Books in 1!
Q&A Course Review
Guarantee your mastery of psychiatric mental health nursing knowledge while honing your critical-thinking and test-taking skills.
Over 900 multiple-choice and alternate format questions, organized by specific disorders, make a difficult subject more manageable. Rationales for... View Details
Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing: Concepts of Care in Evidence-Based Practice
by Mary C. Townsend DSN PMHCNS-BC (Author)
Rely on the distinctive voice and dedicated vision of Mary C. Townsend to provide the most clearly written, comprehensive text for psychiatric mental health nursing. Its evidence-based, holistic approach to nursing practice focuses on both biological and behavioral components.
The 8th Edition of this popular text delivers even more of what nursing students need to meet the challenges of health care today. Completely revised and updated throughout, it reflects all of the new knowledge in the field and the practice of mental health nursing today, including DSM-5,... View Details
Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
by Sheila L. Videbeck PhD RN (Author)
Exploring the full psychiatric nursing curriculum, from theoretical foundations to interventions for commonly encountered disorders, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing, 7th Edition provides a practical focus on the skills and concepts students need for successful practice. Throughout the book, students have opportunities to learn specific nursing interventions, build therapeutic communication skills, and apply content within the framework of the nursing process. A study guide built into every chapter reinforces student learning and builds critical reasoning skills.
The... View Details
Essentials of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing: Concepts of Care in Evidence-Based Practice
by Mary C. Townsend DSN PMHCNS-BC (Author), Karyn I. Morgan RN MSN CNS (Author)
Instant Access: 978-0-8036-6170-7
Access Card: 978-0-8036-6169-1
Learning. Applying. Assessing.
Essentials of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, DavisPlus Resources, and Davis Edge work together to create an immersive, multimedia learning experience for students and complete teaching materials for instructors.
The text provides the... View Details