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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2013 Jun;1288:48-58. doi: 10.1111/nyas.12102. Epub 2013 Apr 30.

Multilocus genetic models of handedness closely resemble single-locus models in explaining family data and are compatible with genome-wide association studies.

Author information

1
Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College London, London, United Kingdom. i.mcmanus@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

Right- and left-handedness run in families, show greater concordance in monozygotic than dizygotic twins, and are well described by single-locus Mendelian models. Here we summarize a large genome-wide association study (GWAS) that finds no significant associations with handedness and is consistent with a meta-analysis of GWASs. The GWAS had 99% power to detect a single locus using the conventional criterion of P < 5 × 10(-8) for the single locus models of McManus and Annett. The strong conclusion is that handedness is not controlled by a single genetic locus. A consideration of the genetic architecture of height, primary ciliary dyskinesia, and intelligence suggests that handedness inheritance can be explained by a multilocus variant of the McManus DC model, classical effects on family and twins being barely distinguishable from the single locus model. Based on the ENGAGE meta-analysis of GWASs, we estimate at least 40 loci are involved in determining handedness.

PMID:
23631511
PMCID:
PMC4298034
DOI:
10.1111/nyas.12102
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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