Association of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Depression Polygenic Scores with Lithium Response: A Consortium for Lithium Genetics Study

Complex Psychiatry. 2021 Dec;7(3-4):80-89. doi: 10.1159/000519707. Epub 2021 Nov 18.


Response to lithium varies widely between individuals with bipolar disorder (BD). Polygenic risk scores (PRSs) can uncover pharmacogenomics effects and may help predict drug response. Patients (N = 2,510) with BD were assessed for long-term lithium response in the Consortium on Lithium Genetics using the Retrospective Criteria of Long-Term Treatment Response in Research Subjects with Bipolar Disorder score. PRSs for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), major depressive disorder (MDD), and schizophrenia (SCZ) were computed using lassosum and in a model including all three PRSs and other covariates, and the PRS of ADHD (β = -0.14; 95% confidence interval [CI]: -0.24 to -0.03; p value = 0.010) and MDD (β = -0.16; 95% CI: -0.27 to -0.04; p value = 0.005) predicted worse quantitative lithium response. A higher SCZ PRS was associated with higher rates of medication nonadherence (OR = 1.61; 95% CI: 1.34-1.93; p value = 2e-7). This study indicates that genetic risk for ADHD and depression may influence lithium treatment response. Interestingly, a higher SCZ PRS was associated with poor adherence, which can negatively impact treatment response. Incorporating genetic risk of ADHD, depression, and SCZ in combination with clinical risk may lead to better clinical care for patients with BD.

Keywords: Adherence; Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; Bipolar disorder; Lithium response; Polygenic risk scores.