In an effort to pinpoint potential genetic risk factors for schizophrenia, research groups worldwide have published over 1,000 genetic association studies with largely inconsistent results. To facilitate the interpretation of these findings, we have created a regularly updated online database of all published genetic association studies for schizophrenia ('SzGene'). For all polymorphisms having genotype data available in at least four independent case-control samples, we systematically carried out random-effects meta-analyses using allelic contrasts. Across 118 meta-analyses, a total of 24 genetic variants in 16 different genes (APOE, COMT, DAO, DRD1, DRD2, DRD4, DTNBP1, GABRB2, GRIN2B, HP, IL1B, MTHFR, PLXNA2, SLC6A4, TP53 and TPH1) showed nominally significant effects with average summary odds ratios of approximately 1.23. Seven of these variants had not been previously meta-analyzed. According to recently proposed criteria for the assessment of cumulative evidence in genetic association studies, four of the significant results can be characterized as showing 'strong' epidemiological credibility. Our project represents the first comprehensive online resource for systematically synthesized and graded evidence of genetic association studies in schizophrenia. As such, it could serve as a model for field synopses of genetic associations in other common and genetically complex disorders.
[ hide abstract ]