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Am J Hum Genet. 2005 Apr;76(4):647-51. Epub 2005 Feb 15.

Genomewide significant linkage to stuttering on chromosome 12.

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  • 1National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, MD, USA.


Stuttering is a common and sometimes severe communication disorder, of unknown primary etiology, that exists in populations worldwide. Many types of evidence suggest a genetic contribution to stuttering; however, the complex inheritance of this disorder has hindered identification of these factors. We have employed highly inbred families to increase the power of linkage analysis of this disorder. Forty-four Pakistani families with documented or probable consanguinity, from the city of Lahore and surrounding areas, were included. Each family contained multiple cases of stuttering, which were diagnosed using the Stuttering Severity Instrument. Using the Marshfield Weber 9 marker panel, we performed a genomewide linkage scan focused on affected individuals and their parents. The analysis included 199 genotyped individuals, 144 affected and 55 unaffected. The Pedigree Relationship Statistical Test (PREST) was used to identify pedigrees that required additional specification of inbreeding. Initial nonparametric analysis gave evidence of linkage on chromosomes 1, 5, 7, and 12. Additional genotyping was performed on chromosome 12 to a 5-cM level of resolution, and 16 additional individuals were then included, bringing the number of families to 46. Analysis of the enlarged data set provided consistent evidence of linkage on chromosome 12: the S(homoz) scoring function gave a nonparametric LOD score of 4.61, and a LOD score of 3.51 was obtained using the S(all) scoring function. These results suggest that a locus on chromosome 12q may contain a gene with a large effect in this sample.

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