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Alcohol Alcohol. 2001 Mar-Apr;36(2):99-103.

Genetic association studies of alcoholism--problems with the candidate gene approach.

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  • 1Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Wales College of Medicine, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XN, UK.


In recent years, progress has been made in the identification of causative factors in most single gene disorders and those with genes of major effect. In comparison, no genes contributing to a complex disorder have been unambiguously identified. A number of reasons for this have been previously presented in theoretical papers. Alcoholism is such a complex illness and genetic studies into its underlying genetic causes have suffered from lack of power due to small subject numbers, poor selection of control subjects, and over-emphasis on markers with low prior probability of involvement.

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