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MeSH Review

Twin Studies

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Disease relevance of Twin Studies


Psychiatry related information on Twin Studies


High impact information on Twin Studies

  • Abundant epidemiological data, including family and twin studies, point to a strong genetic influence on the development of AITD [9].
  • Twin study links genes to homosexuality [10].
  • The twin study, designed to determine the relative contributions of genetic and environmental factors to large interindividual variation in theophylline elimination, revealed predominantly genetic control [11].
  • CONTEXT: Twin studies using selected samples have shown high heritability for Alzheimer disease (AD) [12].
  • PARTICIPANTS: More than 5000 members of male-male and female-female twin pairs from the Virginia Adult Twin Study of Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders [13].

Biological context of Twin Studies


Anatomical context of Twin Studies


Associations of Twin Studies with chemical compounds


Gene context of Twin Studies

  • This fact is most clearly seen in the 20 extant twin studies, which estimate the heritability of ADHD to be .76 [27].
  • A twin study for serum leptin, soluble leptin receptor, and free insulin-like growth factor-I in pubertal females [28].
  • We hypothesised that this gene might be implicated in the development of VV in the normal population, therefore, after performing a classical twin study, we tested for linkage and association in white women [29].
  • METHODS AND RESULTS: The heritability of CRP, fibrinogen, sICAM-1, IL-6, and TNF-alpha was determined in a twin study consisting of 129 monozygotic twin pairs and 153 dizygotic same-sex twins aged 73 to 94 years who participated in the Longitudinal Study of Aging of Danish Twins [30].
  • A recently reported, association of a HTR2A polymorphism with episodic memory in young unrelated adults led us to investigate the association between a nearby polymorphism and longitudinal memory performance in the Swedish Adoption/Twin Study of Aging (SATSA) [31].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Twin Studies

  • Comparisons are made to results from similar twin studies and the first examination of the NHLBI Twin Study. Heritability estimates for phosphorus and blood urea nitrogen exhibited marked stability across studies, while heritability estimates for total bilirubin, total protein, and uric acid decreased in older study populations [32].
  • Fasting plasma cortisol was lower in the study compared to the control group (266 +/- 16 vs. 341 +/- 28 nmol/L, p < 0.01) due to the influence of the twin study subgroup [33].


  1. Multiple sclerosis in twins from continental Italy and Sardinia: a nationwide study. Ristori, G., Cannoni, S., Stazi, M.A., Vanacore, N., Cotichini, R., Alfò, M., Pugliatti, M., Sotgiu, S., Solaro, C., Bomprezzi, R., Di Giovanni, S., Figà Talamanca, L., Nisticò, L., Fagnani, C., Neale, M.C., Cascino, I., Giorgi, G., Battaglia, M.A., Buttinelli, C., Tosi, R., Salvetti, M. Ann. Neurol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  2. Heritability of type II (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus and abnormal glucose tolerance--a population-based twin study. Poulsen, P., Kyvik, K.O., Vaag, A., Beck-Nielsen, H. Diabetologia (1999) [Pubmed]
  3. Non-HLA-B27 genetic factors in HLA-B27 associated diseases. Feltkamp, T.E. Clin. Rheumatol. (1996) [Pubmed]
  4. Lack of an association between a dopamine-4 receptor polymorphism and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: genetic and brain morphometric analyses. Castellanos, F.X., Lau, E., Tayebi, N., Lee, P., Long, R.E., Giedd, J.N., Sharp, W., Marsh, W.L., Walter, J.M., Hamburger, S.D., Ginns, E.I., Rapoport, J.L., Sidransky, E. Mol. Psychiatry (1998) [Pubmed]
  5. CO2-induced panic attacks: a twin study. Bellodi, L., Perna, G., Caldirola, D., Arancio, C., Bertani, A., Di Bella, D. The American journal of psychiatry. (1998) [Pubmed]
  6. A twin study of late-onset depression and apolipoprotein E epsilon 4 as risk factors for Alzheimer's disease. Steffens, D.C., Plassman, B.L., Helms, M.J., Welsh-Bohmer, K.A., Saunders, A.M., Breitner, J.C. Biol. Psychiatry (1997) [Pubmed]
  7. A twin study on three enzymes (DBH, COMT, MAO) of catecholamine metabolism. Correlations with MMPI. Winter, H., Herschel, M., Propping, P., Friedl, W., Vogel, F. Psychopharmacology (Berl.) (1978) [Pubmed]
  8. Evaluation of the genes for the adrenergic receptors alpha 2A and alpha 1C and Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome. Xu, C., Ozbay, F., Wigg, K., Shulman, R., Tahir, E., Yazgan, Y., Sandor, P., Barr, C.L. Am. J. Med. Genet. B Neuropsychiatr. Genet. (2003) [Pubmed]
  9. Searching for the autoimmune thyroid disease susceptibility genes: from gene mapping to gene function. Tomer, Y., Davies, T.F. Endocr. Rev. (2003) [Pubmed]
  10. Twin study links genes to homosexuality. Holden, C. Science (1992) [Pubmed]
  11. Polymorphism of theophylline metabolism in man. Miller, C.A., Slusher, L.B., Vesell, E.S. J. Clin. Invest. (1985) [Pubmed]
  12. Role of genes and environments for explaining Alzheimer disease. Gatz, M., Reynolds, C.A., Fratiglioni, L., Johansson, B., Mortimer, J.A., Berg, S., Fiske, A., Pedersen, N.L. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry (2006) [Pubmed]
  13. The structure of genetic and environmental risk factors for anxiety disorders in men and women. Hettema, J.M., Prescott, C.A., Myers, J.M., Neale, M.C., Kendler, K.S. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry (2005) [Pubmed]
  14. The effect of the apolipoprotein E phenotype on plasma lipids is not influenced by environmental variability: results of a Dutch twin study. de Knijff, P., Boomsma, D.I., de Wit, E., Kempen, H.J., Gevers Leuven, J.A., Frants, R.R., Havekes, L.M. Hum. Genet. (1993) [Pubmed]
  15. Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. Perkins, K.A., Benowitz, N., Henningfield, J., Newhouse, P., Pomerleau, O., Swan, G. Addiction (1996) [Pubmed]
  16. Investigation of dopamine system genes in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Billett, E.A., Richter, M.A., Sam, F., Swinson, R.P., Dai, X.Y., King, N., Badri, F., Sasaki, T., Buchanan, J.A., Kennedy, J.L. Psychiatr. Genet. (1998) [Pubmed]
  17. The genetic epidemiology of smoking. Sullivan, P.F., Kendler, K.S. Nicotine Tob. Res. (1999) [Pubmed]
  18. A twin study of cytogenetic variability. Progress report. Gedda, L., Del Porto, G., Brenci, G., D'alessandro, E., Di Fusco, C., Di Tonto, B. Acta geneticae medicae et gemellologiae. (1977) [Pubmed]
  19. Lithium accumulation in erythrocytes of manic-depressive patients: an in vivo twin study. Mendlewicz, J., Verbanck, P., Linkowski, P., Wilmotte, J. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science. (1978) [Pubmed]
  20. 3H-spiperone binding sites in lymphocytes as possible vulnerability marker in schizophrenia. Bondy, B., Ackenheil, M. Journal of psychiatric research. (1987) [Pubmed]
  21. Genetic control of serotonin uptake in blood platelets: a twin study. Meltzer, H.Y., Arora, R.C. Psychiatry research. (1988) [Pubmed]
  22. Genetic and environmental contributions to the development of alcohol dependence in male twins. Liu, I.C., Blacker, D.L., Xu, R., Fitzmaurice, G., Lyons, M.J., Tsuang, M.T. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry (2004) [Pubmed]
  23. Genetic determinant of lithium ion distribution. An in vitro and in vivo monozygotic-dizygotic twin study. Dorus, E., Pandey, G.N., Davis, J.M. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry (1975) [Pubmed]
  24. Twin study of genetic and environmental influences on glucose tolerance and indices of insulin sensitivity and secretion. Schousboe, K., Visscher, P.M., Henriksen, J.E., Hopper, J.L., Sørensen, T.I., Kyvik, K.O. Diabetologia (2003) [Pubmed]
  25. Angiotensin-converting enzyme and angiotensinogen gene polymorphisms, plasma levels, cardiac dimensions. A twin study. Busjahn, A., Knoblauch, H., Knoblauch, M., Bohlender, J., Menz, M., Faulhaber, H.D., Becker, A., Schuster, H., Luft, F.C. Hypertension (1997) [Pubmed]
  26. Genetics, Alzheimer's disease and senile dementia. Kay, D.W. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science. (1989) [Pubmed]
  27. Molecular genetics of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Faraone, S.V., Perlis, R.H., Doyle, A.E., Smoller, J.W., Goralnick, J.J., Holmgren, M.A., Sklar, P. Biol. Psychiatry (2005) [Pubmed]
  28. A twin study for serum leptin, soluble leptin receptor, and free insulin-like growth factor-I in pubertal females. Li, H.J., Ji, C.Y., Wang, W., Hu, Y.H. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. (2005) [Pubmed]
  29. Linkage to the FOXC2 region of chromosome 16 for varicose veins in otherwise healthy, unselected sibling pairs. Ng, M.Y., Andrew, T., Spector, T.D., Jeffery, S. J. Med. Genet. (2005) [Pubmed]
  30. Genetic influence on inflammation variables in the elderly. de Maat, M.P., Bladbjerg, E.M., Hjelmborg, J.B., Bathum, L., Jespersen, J., Christensen, K. Arterioscler. Thromb. Vasc. Biol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  31. Longitudinal change in memory performance associated with HTR2A polymorphism. Reynolds, C.A., Jansson, M., Gatz, M., Pedersen, N.L. Neurobiol. Aging (2006) [Pubmed]
  32. Heritability of clinical chemistries in an older twin cohort: the NHLBI Twin Study. Kalousdian, S., Fabsitz, R., Havlik, R., Christian, J., Rosenman, R. Genet. Epidemiol. (1987) [Pubmed]
  33. Insulin resistance is not due to persistently elevated serum tumor necrosis-alpha levels in small for gestational age, premature, or twin children. Jefferies, C.A., Hofman, P.L., Keelan, J.A., Robinson, E.M., Cutfield, W.S. Pediatric diabetes. (2004) [Pubmed]
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