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Am J Hum Genet. 1998 Sep; 63(3): 870–879.
PMCID: PMC1377386

The power to detect linkage in complex disease by means of simple LOD-score analyses.


Maximum-likelihood analysis (via LOD score) provides the most powerful method for finding linkage when the mode of inheritance (MOI) is known. However, because one must assume an MOI, the application of LOD-score analysis to complex disease has been questioned. Although it is known that one can legitimately maximize the maximum LOD score with respect to genetic parameters, this approach raises three concerns: (1) multiple testing, (2) effect on power to detect linkage, and (3) adequacy of the approximate MOI for the true MOI. We evaluated the power of LOD scores to detect linkage when the true MOI was complex but a LOD score analysis assumed simple models. We simulated data from 14 different genetic models, including dominant and recessive at high (80%) and low (20%) penetrances, intermediate models, and several additive two-locus models. We calculated LOD scores by assuming two simple models, dominant and recessive, each with 50% penetrance, then took the higher of the two LOD scores as the raw test statistic and corrected for multiple tests. We call this test statistic "MMLS-C." We found that the ELODs for MMLS-C are >=80% of the ELOD under the true model when the ELOD for the true model is >=3. Similarly, the power to reach a given LOD score was usually >=80% that of the true model, when the power under the true model was >=60%. These results underscore that a critical factor in LOD-score analysis is the MOI at the linked locus, not that of the disease or trait per se. Thus, a limited set of simple genetic models in LOD-score analysis can work well in testing for linkage.

Articles from American Journal of Human Genetics are provided here courtesy of American Society of Human Genetics


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