We examined 36 participants at least 4 years old with hemizygous distal deletions of the long arm of Chromosome 18 (18q-) for histories of mood disorders and to characterize these disorders clinically. Since each participant had a different region of 18q hemizygosity, our goal was also to identify their common region of hemizygosity associated with mood disorders; thereby identifying candidate causal genes in that region. Lifetime mood and other psychiatric disorders were determined by semi-structured interviews of patients and parents, supplemented by reviews of medical and psychiatric records, and norm-referenced psychological assessment instruments, for psychiatric symptoms, cognitive problems, and adaptive functioning. Sixteen participants were identified with lifetime mood disorders (ages 12-42 years, 71% female, 14 having had unipolar depression and 2 with bipolar disorders). From the group of 20 who did not meet criteria for a mood disorder; a comparison group of 6 participants were identified who were matched for age range and deletion size. Mood-disordered patients had high rates of anxiety (75%) and externalizing behavior disorders (44%), and significant mean differences from comparison patients (P < 0.05), including higher overall and verbal IQs and lower autistic symptoms. A critical region was defined in the mood-disordered group that included a hypothetical gene, C18orf62, and two known genes, ZADH2 and TSHZ1. We conclude that patients having terminal deletions of this critical region of the long arm of Chromosome 18 are highly likely to have mood disorders, which are often comorbid with anxiety and to a lesser extent with externalizing disorders.
Keywords: 18q-; Chromosome 18; TSHZ1; ZADH2; bipolar disorder; depression; hemideletion; mood disorders.
© 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.