Joint multi-population analysis for genetic linkage of bipolar disorder or "wellness" to chromosome 4p

P. M. Visscher, C. S. Haley, H. Ewald, O. Mors, J. Egeland, B. Thiel, E. Ginns, W. Muir, D. H. Blackwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


To test the hypothesis that the same genetic loci confer susceptibility to, or protection from, disease in different populations, and that a combined analysis would improve the map resolution of a common susceptibility locus, we analyzed data from three studies that had reported linkage to bipolar disorder in a small region on chromosome 4p. Data sets comprised phenotypic information and genetic marker data on Scottish, Danish, and USA extended pedigrees. Across the three data sets, 913 individuals appeared in the pedigrees, 462 were classified, either as unaffected (323) or affected (139) with unipolar or bipolar disorder. A consensus linkage map was created from 14 microsatellite markers in a 33 cM region. Phenotypic and genetic data were analyzed using a variance component (VC) and allele sharing method. All previously reported elevated test statistics in the region were confirmed with one or both analysis methods, indicating the presence of one or more susceptibility genes to bipolar disorder in the three populations in the studied chromosome segment. When the results from both the VC and allele sharing method were considered, there was strong evidence for a susceptibility locus in the data from Scotland, some evidence in the data from Denmark and relatively less evidence in the data from the USA. The test statistics from the Scottish data set dominated the test statistics from the other studies, and no improved map resolution for a putative genetic locus underlying susceptibility in all three studies was obtained. Studies reporting linkage to the same region require careful scrutiny and preferably joint or meta analysis on the same basis in order to ensure that the results are truly comparable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-24
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics - Neuropsychiatric Genetics
Volume133 B
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 5 2005


  • Allele sharing
  • LOD score
  • QTL
  • Variance component

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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