In this episode, Chloe Burke and Saba Ishrat introduce you to the basics of Mendelian randomisation. They talk about how and why Mendelian randomisation can be used in addiction research to examine causal relationships.

Chloe and Saba from the PhD Podcast interview two experts in the field. First, Dr Anya Topiwala talks about her experiences of using Mendelian randomisation (MR), including research assessing the relationship between drinking and telomere length. And second, Dr Robyn Wootton talks about using MR in studying the relationship between mental health and substance use. The second interview also covers the potential pitfalls of MR, and some practical tips to avoid them.

MR studies are sometimes thought of as nature’s randomised trials in which this random allocation of alleles is a form of naturally-occurring randomisation. And it’s for this reason that the MR approach is thought to be much more robust to… confounding and reverse causation. – Chloe Burke

Chloe and Saba have also compiled a selection of open-access links below, to guide any further reading you would like to do.

by Rob Calder

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