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Am J Hum Genet. 2003 Jul;73(1):17-33. Epub 2003 Jun 11.

Genome scan meta-analysis of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, part I: Methods and power analysis.

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  • 1Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 3535 Market Street, Room 4006, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3309, USA.


This is the first of three articles on a meta-analysis of genome scans of schizophrenia (SCZ) and bipolar disorder (BPD) that uses the rank-based genome scan meta-analysis (GSMA) method. Here we used simulation to determine the power of GSMA to detect linkage and to identify thresholds of significance. We simulated replicates resembling the SCZ data set (20 scans; 1,208 pedigrees) and two BPD data sets using very narrow (9 scans; 347 pedigrees) and narrow (14 scans; 512 pedigrees) diagnoses. Samples were approximated by sets of affected sibling pairs with incomplete parental data. Genotypes were simulated and nonparametric linkage (NPL) scores computed for 20 180-cM chromosomes, each containing six 30-cM bins, with three markers/bin (or two, for some scans). Genomes contained 0, 1, 5, or 10 linked loci, and we assumed relative risk to siblings (lambda(sibs)) values of 1.15, 1.2, 1.3, or 1.4. For each replicate, bins were ranked within-study by maximum NPL scores, and the ranks were averaged (R(avg)) across scans. Analyses were repeated with weighted ranks ((sqrt)N[genotyped cases] for each scan). Two P values were determined for each R(avg): P(AvgRnk) (the pointwise probability) and P(ord) (the probability, given the bin's place in the order of average ranks). GSMA detected linkage with power comparable to or greater than the underlying NPL scores. Weighting for sample size increased power. When no genomewide significant P values were observed, the presence of linkage could be inferred from the number of bins with nominally significant P(AvgRnk), P(ord), or (most powerfully) both. The results suggest that GSMA can detect linkage across multiple genome scans.

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