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© 2016 The Royal College of Psychiatrists. Background Anxiety disorders are common, and cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is a first-line treatment. Candidate gene studies have suggested a genetic basis to treatment response, but findings have been inconsistent. Aims To perform the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) of psychological treatment response in children with anxiety disorders (n = 980). Method Presence and severity of anxiety was assessed using semistructured interview at baseline, on completion of treatment (post-treatment), and 3 to 12 months after treatment completion (follow-up). DNA was genotyped using the Illumina Human Core Exome-12v1.0 array. Linear mixed models were used to test associations between genetic variants and response (change in symptom severity) immediately post-treatment and at 6-month follow-up. Results No variants passed a genome-wide significance threshold (P<5×10 -8 ) in either analysis. Four variants met criteria for suggestive significance (P=5×10 -6 ) in association with response post-treatment, and three variants in the 6-month follow-up analysis. Conclusions This is the first genome-wide therapygenetic study. It suggests no common variants of very high effect underlie response to CBT. Future investigations should maximise power to detect single-variant and polygenic effects by using larger, more homogeneous cohorts.

Original publication

DOI

10.1192/bjp.bp.115.168229

Type

Journal article

Journal

British Journal of Psychiatry

Publication Date

01/09/2016

Volume

209

Pages

236 - 243