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Am J Med Genet. 1991 Jun 1;39(3):307-13.

Family with 22-derived marker chromosome and late-onset dementia of the Alzheimer type: I. Application of a new model for estimation of the risk of disease associated with the marker.

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  • 1Neurogenetic Laboratory, Surrey Place Centre, Toronto, Ontario Canada.


We have identified 2 sisters with probable dementia of the Alzheimer type who have an unusual 22-derived marker chromosome with a greatly elongated short arm containing 2 well-separated nucleolus organizer regions. A marker chromosome similar in appearance is uncommon in the general population. Eleven of 24 of their biological relatives were also found to have the marker. The known pedigree of this family encompasses 6 generations in 2 of which there is evidence of 10 cases of dementia of the Alzheimer type. The average age-at-onset of dementia is 65.8 +/- 5.5 years; the average age-at-death among those apparently affected is 74.9 +/- 8.3 years. A new model for the estimation of risk was applied to the family data. Persons in this family with the marker were found to be 4 times more likely to develop dementia than those without the marker, the 95% confidence interval for this risk being 1-50. The probability that the association of dementia and the marker is due to chance alone is .05 (1 in 20).

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