Vulnerability Indicators of Psychosis – a twin study

​This is a combined register-based and clinical twin study. The overall aim is to identify new and evaluate currently suggested clinical endophenotypic markers, gene-environment interactions and environmental risk factors in schizophrenia spectrum disorders.

The study began in 2011 and explores the influence of gene-environment interactions on the multimodal neurobiological and functional disturbances and endophenotypes characterized in our first-episode and UHR cohorts. Furthermore it aims at characterizing the heritability of schizophrenia spectrum diagnoses. We are including 30 MZ twin pairs and 30 DZ twin pairs concordant or discordant for schizophrenia spectrum disorders, and 60 pairs of healthy controls, matched for gender, age and zygosity.

The examination program covers a range of modalities including:

  • neurocognition
  • psychopathology
  • MRI scans
  • psychophysiology combined with environmental risk factors

Twin samples in particular incorporate the study of phenotypic, endophenotypic and biological discordance in individuals with a shared genetic background, which makes it a valuable tool in the search of contributors to illness penetrance and genetic underpinnings of the illness. We expect to yield high quality data by combining register-based information and a multimodal, deep phenotyping strategy in a representative twin sample.


PhD theses based on data from this project:

  • Rikke Hilker "Concordance Rates and Early Risk Factors in Schizophrenia: A Twin Study" (2015)
  • Christian Legind "Are disturbances in glutamate availability, cerebral perfusion, and cortical thickness a composite endophenotype for schizophrenia? A Danish Twin Study" (expected 2017)


Selected articles based on data from this project:

  • Hilker, R., Larsen, M. H., Rasmussen, H., Broberg, B. V., Fagerlund, B., Oranje, B., Nordentoft, M. & Glenthøj, B. Y. Sårbarhedsmarkører for skizofreni - præsentation af nyt tvillingestudie; VIP-studiet. BestPractice. 2011, 13, p. 18-24.