Genetic association of impulsivity in young adults: A multivariate study

S. Khadka, B. Narayanan, S. A. Meda, J. Gelernter, S. Han, B. Sawyer, F. Aslanzadeh, M. C. Stevens, K. A. Hawkins, A. Anticevic, M. N. Potenza, G. D. Pearlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Impulsivity is a heritable, multifaceted construct with clinically relevant links to multiple psychopathologies. We assessed impulsivity in young adult (N ∼ 2100) participants in a longitudinal study, using self-report questionnaires and computer-based behavioral tasks. Analysis was restricted to the subset (N = 426) who underwent genotyping. Multivariate association between impulsivity measures and single-nucleotide polymorphism data was implemented using parallel independent component analysis (Para-ICA). Pathways associated with multiple genes in components that correlated significantly with impulsivity phenotypes were then identified using a pathway enrichment analysis. Para-ICA revealed two significantly correlated genotype-phenotype component pairs. One impulsivity component included the reward responsiveness subscale and behavioral inhibition scale of the Behavioral-Inhibition System/Behavioral-Activation System scale, and the second impulsivity component included the nonplanning subscale of the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale and the Experiential Discounting Task. Pathway analysis identified processes related to neurogenesis, nervous system signal generation/amplification, neurotransmission and immune response. We identified various genes and gene regulatory pathways associated with empirically derived impulsivity components. Our study suggests that gene networks implicated previously in brain development, neurotransmission and immune response are related to impulsive tendencies and behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere451
JournalTranslational psychiatry
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry


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