Strategies for integrated analysis in imaging genetics studies

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Abstract

Imaging Genetics (IG) integrates neuroimaging and genomic data from the same individual, deepening our knowledge of the biological mechanisms behind neurodevelopmental domains and neurological disorders. Although the literature on IG has exponentially grown over the past years, the majority of studies have mainly analyzed associations between candidate brain regions and individual genetic variants. However, this strategy is not designed to deal with the complexity of neurobiological mechanisms underlying behavioral and neurodevelopmental domains. Moreover, larger sample sizes and increased multidimensionality of this type of data represents a challenge for standardizing modeling procedures in IG research. This review provides a systematic update of the methods and strategies currently used in IG studies, and serves as an analytical framework for researchers working in this field. To complement the functionalities of the Neuroconductor framework, we also describe existing R packages that implement these methodologies. In addition, we present an overview of how these methodological approaches are applied in integrating neuroimaging and genetic data.

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