Shortened life span in severe mental disorders related to increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a large challenge for the psychiatric health care system in Europe as well as in the rest of the world, with important ethical implications. Recent evidence suggest that genetic factors may play a role, but previous samples and approaches have not been able to provide improved understanding of the pathophysiology of diseases, and there is a knowledge gap in the aetiology of the reduced life span in severe mental disorders. Scandinavia may have leading role in this field the coming years, taking advantage of the characteristics of Scandinavian populations, such as population based biobanks, willingness to participate in biomedical research, genetic founder effects for many traits, and a wealth of phenotypic data in healthcare registries. By leveraging one of the largest genetic repository of genetic data for these disorders, we will follow multi-pronged strategies to identify (a) shared gene variants between severe mental disorders and CVD which influences the disease progression in relation to overlapping pathologies, using novel computational approaches and large biobank samples, (b) identify biomarkers for better disease prevention and management using large clinical samples and outcome data from
National Registries (c) using combinatorial approaches of functional genomics and stem cells methodology to identify novel pathways and compounds for potential therapeutic interventions. The current project integrates pre-clinical and clinical studies to identify common mechanisms and related biomarkers, and will have a large opportunity to generate results that can lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms that are common to several diseases, in particular of those leading to co-morbidities in severe mental disorders and CVD risk factors.