PhD Podcast: Chloe and Saba on Mendelian randomisation
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.
- Assessing and addressing collider bias in addiction research: the curious case of smoking and COVID-19. By Harry Tattan-Birch and colleagues. Published in Addiction (2020).
- Assessing causal relationships using genetic proxies for exposures: an introduction to Mendelian randomization. By Srinivasa Vittal Katikireddi and colleagues. Published in Addiction (2017).
- Mendelian randomisation for psychiatry: how does it work, and what can it tell us? By Robyn E. Wootton and colleagues. Published in Molecular Psychiatry (2022).
- Making sense of Mendelian randomisation and its use in health research: A short overview. By Sean Harrison and colleagues. Published by Public Health Wales NHS Trust & Bristol University.
- MR Dictionary. Published by University of Bristol.
by Rob Calder
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