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Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2008 Oct 5;147B(7):1258-69. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.b.30771.

Ordered subsets linkage analysis of antisocial behavior in substance use disorder among participants in the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.


Heterogeneity in complex diseases such as Substance Use Disorder (SUD) reduces the power to detect linkage and makes replication of findings in other populations unlikely. It is therefore critical to refine the phenotype and use methods that account for genetic heterogeneity between families. SUD was operationalized as diagnosis of abuse or dependence to alcohol and/or any one of five illicit substances. Whole-genome linkage analysis of 241 extended pedigree families from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism was performed in Merlin using an affected sibship design. An Ordered Subsets Analysis (OSA) using FLOSS sought to increase the homogeneity of the sample by ranking families by their density of childhood and adult antisocial behaviors, producing new maximum Nonparametric Lod (NPL) scores on each chromosome for each subset of families. Prior to OSA, modest evidence for linkage was found on chromosomes 8 and 17. Although changes in NPL scores were not statistically significant, OSA revealed possible evidence of linkages on chromosome 7, near markers D7S1795 and D7S821. NPL scores >3.0 were also observed on chromosomes 2, 3, 5, 9, and 14. However, the number of families used in these latter subsets for linkage may be too small to be meaningful. Results provide some evidence for the ability of OSA to reduce genetic heterogeneity, and add further support to chromosome 7 as a possible location to search for genes related to various SUD related processes. Nonetheless, replication of these results in other samples is essential.

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