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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Linkage studies on Gilles de la Tourette syndrome: what is the strategy of choice?

For a linkage study it is important to ascertain family material that is sufficiently informative. The statistical power of a linkage sample can be determined via computer simulation. For complex traits uncertain parameters such as incomplete penetrance, frequency of phenocopies, gene frequency and variable expression have to be taken into account. One can either include only the most severe phenotype in the analysis or apply multiple linkage tests for a gradually broadened disease phenotype. Gilles de la Tourette syndrome ( GTS) is a chronic neurological disorder characterized by multiple, intermittent motor and vocal tics. Segregation analyses suggest that GTS and milder phenotypes are caused by a single dominant gene. We report here the results of an extensive simulation study on a large set of families. We compared the effectiveness of linkage tests with only the GTS phenotype versus multiple tests that included various milder phenotypes and different gene frequencies. The scenario of multiple tests yielded superior power. Our results show that computer simulation can indicate the strategy of choice in linkage studies of multiple, complex phenotypes.[1]


  1. Linkage studies on Gilles de la Tourette syndrome: what is the strategy of choice? Heutink, P., van de Wetering, B.J., Pakstis, A.J., Kurlan, R., Sandor, P., Oostra, B.A., Sandkuijl, L.A. Am. J. Hum. Genet. (1995) [Pubmed]
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