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A power study of bivariate LOD score analysis of a complex trait and fear/discomfort with strangers

BioMed Central
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  • Mathematics
  • Medicine


Complex diseases are often reported along with disease-related traits (DRT). Sometimes investigators consider both disease and DRT phenotypes separately and sometimes they consider individuals as affected if they have either the disease or the DRT, or both. We propose instead to consider the joint distribution of the disease and the DRT and do a linkage analysis assuming a pleiotropic model. We evaluated our results through analysis of the simulated datasets provided by Genetic Analysis Workshop 14. We first conducted univariate linkage analysis of the simulated disease, Kofendrerd Personality Disorder and one of its simulated associated traits, phenotype b (fear/discomfort with strangers). Subsequently, we considered the bivariate phenotype, which combined the information on Kofendrerd Personality Disorder and fear/discomfort with strangers. We developed a program to perform bivariate linkage analysis using an extension to the Elston-Stewart peeling method of likelihood calculation. Using this program we considered the microsatellites within 30 cM of the gene pleiotropic for this simulated disease and DRT. Based on 100 simulations of 300 families we observed excellent power to detect linkage within 10 cM of the disease locus using the DRT and the bivariate trait.


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