Genetics of the connectome and the ENIGMA project
Thompson PM., Hibar DP., Stein JL., Prasad G., Jahanshad N.
© 2016, The Author(s). Here we give an overview of a worldwide effort, called the ENIGMA Consortium (http://enigma.ini.usc.edu), which unites scientists worldwide to determine how variants in our genetic code influence the brain, and how 12 major diseases affect the brain worldwide. At the time of writing, ENIGMA involves over 500 scientists from 185 institutions worldwide, working together on around 30 projects to discover factors that may help or harm the brain. By pooling genome-wide genomic data and brain imaging from over 33,000 people, ENIGMA has been able to identify single-nucleotide differences in the genome that are associated with differences in human brain structure and function. Given the broad interest in brain connectivity and the factors that affect it, we outline some tactics adopted by ENIGMA to discover specific genes that affect the brain; then we describe how ENIGMA is extending these methods to discover genetic influences on brain connectivity.