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A multi-generational study of psychosis in a founder population


This study aims to detect genes underlying functional psychoses. Its specific objectives are:

To complete diagnostic measures on a sample stemming from three founder individuals in a relatively genetically isolated area of Norway.
To analyse the structure of each family and obtain DNA samples from all individuals considered necessary for molecular and statistical analysis.
To perform a genome scan using polymorphic markers and to carry out shared segment analysis to detect susceptibility loci.

This project uses a unique population and novel methods to attempt to detect susceptibility loci for psychotic disorders. The research is based on an isolated population in Northern Norway in which a form of psychotic illness has been traced back to three founders alive in the 17th Century. Present day descendants of these founders are estimated to number 1,200 of which 250 individuals have been sampled from families with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Individuals have undergone a full indepth diagnostic interview and provided samples of blood for DNA analysis. Lymphoblastoid lines have been established, creating a permanent resource for future European research. In the first phase of the genome scan 36 descendants are being genotyped. A total of 160 polymorphic genetic markers have been run through the samples. A further 171 markers will be genotyped within months. In addition a set of markers is currently being selected to complete the genome scan with markers set at 5cM intervals. It is hoped that the knowledge gained by this research may form a basis for future treatments and prevention.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


University of Wales College of Medicine
Heath Park
CF4 4XN Cardiff
United Kingdom

Participants (2)

Rijksuniversiteit Leiden
72,As Page B
2300 RA Leiden
University of Oslo
0027 Oslo