English Version

GEZIN Study: Search for Genetic Variants in Neuropsychiatric Disorders

A lot of research is performed in order to determing the genetic factors underlying psychiatric disorders. So far, it has been proven to be difficult to pinpoint precisely where the genetic vulnerability is located that makes people prone to develop a psychiatric disorder. Most researchers and clinicians think that the development of psychiatric complaints is a complex interaction of genes and environmental events.

The genetic material (the DNA) is inherited from both father and mother. In part, the genetic material is identical in every member of the same family. By comparing the DNA from family members that suffer from a psychiatric disorder with the DNA of the family members that do not suffer from that psychiatric disorder, it might be possible to identify a possible cause for the psychotic complaints in a specific family.

In this research project, we mostly study families who have a high incidence of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia in order to determine which parts of the genetic material conveys the vulnerability to develop psychiatric disorders.

Purpose of the study
In this study, we attempt to determine the biological mechanisms that underly bipolar disorder or schizophrenia within families. Sometimes, it is the case that multiple family members suffer from bipolar disorder or a psychotic disorder. If there are multiple family members with similar psychiatric symptoms, we believe a clear genetic cause lies at the base of the disorder in these families. We hope studying these families leads us to identify a biological mechanism underlying the development of the disorder specific to that particular family. To study this, we look for families in which there are multiple family members affected with a psychiatric disorder, specificically bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Participation consists of a clinical interview and a one-time blood draw.

Who are we looking for?

  • People with the diagnosis bipolar disorder (manic-depression), schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder
  • People should have one or more family members who also have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder or psychotic disorder.

For this research, you can come to the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam. However, it is also possible that the researchers visit you. We would like to talk to you and one of your family members in order to get an understanding of the psychiatric complaints in your family.

A blood sample is taken from the family members that are willing to participate in the study in order to obtain the DNA for this study.

All your data is confidential and will be handled with care. Others will see the data only anonymously. The anonymous results of this research project will be published in international medical scientific journals.

Do you want to participate or want know more?
If you have any questions or if you want to participate in this research, you can contact Christian Bouwkamp, psychologist on the following telephone number: +31 10-7030290 or write an email to c.bouwkamp [at] erasmusmc.nl

Research team
Psychiatry: prof. dr. Steven Kushner (principal investigator), drs. Christian Bouwkamp, dr. Femke de Vrij, dr. Michiel Coesmans, drs. Nilhan Gunhanlar, dr. Nico van Beveren & dr. Veerle Bergink
Clinical Genetics: prof. dr. Vincenzo Bonifati, prof. dr. Ben Oostra, dr. Anneke Maat-Kievit, drs. Marialuisa Quadri & ing. Guido Breedveld

Download the GEZIN study flyer