Risk tendency

Risk taking is a key component of several psychiatric disorders and may influence lifestyle choices such as smoking, alcohol consumption and diet.

Risk tolerance is defined as the willingness to take risks, usually for some reward, and varies substantially among humans. Common activities that have been associated with risk-taking and general risk tolerance include adventurism (defined as the self-reported tendency to be adventurous versus cautious) and risk-taking behaviors in the areas of driving, alcohol consumption, smoking, and sexual intercourse.

Historically, a taste for risk has been linked to several biological pathways, including the steroid hormone cortisol, the monoamines dopamine and serotonin, and the sex steroid hormones estrogen and testosterone.

In addition, some of the main components of the cortical-basal ganglia circuit, which is known as the reward system in human and non-human primates, and which is involved in learning, motivation and decision making, have also been linked. The immune system has also been linked, but needs more research into what kind of linkage exists. However, it is not clear to what extent both the reward system and the immune system affect risk-taking tendencies.

In addition to the genetic factor of general risk tolerance and risk-taking behaviors, environmental and demographic factors explain a substantial part of the variation in this trait. Factors such as gender and age have been significantly associated with general risk tolerance, as well as the type of life experiences individuals have had.

Number of observed variants

13.5 million variants

Number of risk loci

306 loci

Genes analyzed

A3GALT2 ACVR2A ADGRB3 AGA AKT3 ALOX5AP ANO10 ARHGAP28 ARMC2 ARNTL ARPP21 AS3MT ATAD2B ATG10 ATP2A1 ATP6V1G3 AUTS2 B3GLCT BACH2 BARHL2 BCL11A BCL11B BDNF BHLHE22 BLK BOLA3 BRINP3 BUD13 C15orf61 C8orf74 CA10 CADM2 CALB2 CAMKMT CASP4 CBX8 CCDC171 CD34 CDH10 CDH13 CDH6 CDH8 CDH9 CDK19 CELF2 CENPV CHDH CHL1 CHRM2 CLDN23 CNTN2 CRB2 CTNNA1 CTSB CUL9 CYLD DCP1B DHFR2 DIAPH3 DIPK2A DMRTA1 DPYD DPYSL4 DSTYK DTWD2 DUSP26 EBF1 EFNA4 EGFL8 EGR1 EIF4G3 EPHA5 FAM120B FAM124B FAM200B FAM78B FES FEZF1 FIGN FOXG1 FOXN3 FOXP1 FOXP2 FRAT2 GABRB1 GABRG1 GABRG3 GATA3 GATA4 GFRA1 GIPC1 GJA1 GLG1 GNPDA2 GRIA1 GRIN2A GRIN2B GRM8 H2AC6 H2BC6 HCN1 HIBADH HIVEP1 HIVEP3 INPP4B INSYN1 IRX3 ISL1 ITPA JMJD1C KIF16B KIRREL3 KLHL29 KMT2E KPNA2 L3MBTL2 LCORL LHX9 LRFN2 LRFN5 LRRC4 LRRC4C LRRC70 LRRTM2 MACIR MAGOH MAP2 MAT2B MDFIC METTL15 MKRN1 MPPED2 MSH6 MSR1 MSRA MSRB3 MTRNR2L5 NAA11 NFIA NPAS4 NR2F2 NRTN NRXN1 NTRK2 NTRK3 NXPH2 OMG OTX1 PARD3B PARP8 PCDH20 PCDH7 PIK3C3 PINX1 PKN2 PLCL2 PLXNA2 PMFBP1 POU3F2 POU3F3 PPP1R13B PPP1R3B PPP3CC PPP3R1 PRAG1 PRKCZ PRR20G PRSS51 PRSS55 PRTG PTN PTPRF RAB6C RARB RASGRF2 RBM19 REST RGS17 RGS6 RNF144B RSAD2 RUNX1T1 SAMD12 SATB1 SDCCAG8 SDHD SDK2 SEMA3F SEMA6D SIX3 SLC12A5 SLC16A7 SLC24A2 SLC39A5 SLC43A3 SLFNL1 SND1 SNTG1 SORCS2 SORCS3 SOX2 SPRY2 SSR2 ST18 STAG1 STK24 STK32C TAC1 TCF4 TDRD15 TENM3 TET2 TFEC THBS3 TIGIT TLE7 TMEM114 TMEM182 TMEM242 TNKS TOPAZ1 TPGS2 TPRA1 TRHDE TRIM27 TRPC6 TSHZ2 TSHZ3 TSNARE1 TTC27 TTLL7 USH2A VGLL3 VWC2L WASHC3 WSCD2 XKR6 YWHAZ ZBTB10 ZBTB20 ZEB2 ZNF507 ZNF536 ZNF618 ZNF800 ZP4 ZSWIM6

Bibliography

Karlsson L.R., Biroli P., et al . Genome-wide association analyses of risk tolerance and risky behaviors in over 1 million individuals identify hundreds of loci and shared genetic influences. Nature Genetics, 14 Jan 2019, 51(2):245-257.

Strawbridge R.J., Ward J., et al . Genome-wide analysis of self-reported risk-taking behaviour and cross-disorder genetic correlations in the UK Biobank cohort. Translational Psychiatry, 02 Feb 2018, 8(1):39.

Dohmen T., Falk A., et al . Individual Risk Attitudes: Measurement, Determinants, and Behavioral Consequences. Journal of the European Economic Association, Volume 9, Issue 3, 1 June 2011, Pages 522-550.

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