Lithium treatment response has been suggested to be familial, raising the possibility that genetic variation may contribute to interindividual differences in treatment response. If such differences could be identified, they might facilitate the development of novel treatments for bipolar disorder, or allow better matching between patients and treatments.
With the proliferation of genome-wide association studies (GWAS), it is increasingly apparent that the dangers of both type I and type II errors in genetic association studies are substantial. The obvious solution is larger sample sizes and the use of replication cohorts, followed by pooling or meta-analytic techniques. Given the particular difficulties in obtaining long-term treatment data sufficient to adequately define treatment response, the need for groups to work together to collect and study these cohorts is great.
Therefore, the goal of this collaboration is to facilitate high-quality, well-powered analysis of lithium treatment response data. After an initial brainstorming at the 21st conference of the International Group for the Study of Lithium Treated Patients (IGSLI), taking place on Sept 27th through 30th, 2007 in Dresden/Germany, ConLiGen was initiated by Thomas G. Schulze and Francis J. McMahon at the NIMH Intramural Program, based upon a meeting which took place at NIMH on May 6, 2008.
In attendance were (in alphabetical order):
Martin Alda (Halifax, NS, Canada)
Michael Bauer (Dresden, Germany)
Maria Del Zompo (via phone from Cagliari, Italy)
Gonzalo Laje (Bethesda, MD, USA)
Francis J. McMahon (Bethesda, MD, USA)
Mirko Manchia (Cagliari, Italy)
Roy Perlis (Boston, MA, USA)
Janusz Rybakowski (Poznan, Poland)
Thomas G. Schulze (Bethesda, MD, USA)
Johannes Schumacher (Bethesda, MD, USA)
Jordan Smoller (Boston, MA)