2 February 2018

Eus van Someren

Neuroscience Symposium
Van Someren Group

The Neuroscience Symposia are organized weekly by the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience. The presentations are given by researchers from the institute or by guest speakers. The title and content of the symposium is usually made known in the week prior to the presentation.

Colloquium room – Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience

Philip Jansen
PhD Student in a collaboration between Danielle Posthuma (VU), Henning Tiemeier (Erasmus MC) and Eus van Someren (NIN)

4:00 pm – Big data genetics in sleep research: from gene to behavior
4:45 pm – Discussion and drinks

Insomnia, problems falling or staying asleep, is common in the general population, and up to one in three individuals report insomnia symptoms. Although genetic factors play a major role in insomnia, only a limited number of genes have so far been identified. Prior genetic studies have shown that many individual genes play a role with small individual effect sizes, and even larger studies are necessary to attain sufficient power for finding novel genes. We performed the largest association study in genetics so far, by linking genes to insomnia disorder using genome-wide analysis (GWAS) in two large population samples: UK Biobank and 23andMe. Using a total sample size of over 1 million individuals, we find over 200 genomic risk loci and over 900 genes that predispose for insomnia. Linking these genes to gene-expression, we identify several brain tissue and cell types. The wealth of results from this large-scale analysis provide novel insight into the neurobiology of sleep disorders, and illustrate how big data analysis is expected to push the boundaries of our current knowledge of complex traits.