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Wiley, American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 3(159B), p. 274-280, 2012

DOI: 10.1002/ajmg.b.32024



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Multivariate analysis of anxiety disorders yields further evidence of linkage to chromosomes 4q21, and 7p in panic disorder families

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Replication has been difficult to achieve in linkage studies of psychiatric disease. Linkage studies of panic disorder have indicated regions of interest on chromosomes 1q, 2p, 2q, 3, 7, 9, 11, 12q13, 12q23, and 15. Few regions have been implicated in more than one study. We examine two samples, the Iowa (IA) and the Columba panic disorder families. We use the fuzzy-clustering method presented by Kaabi et al. [Kaabi et al. (2006); Am J Hum Genet 78: 543-553] to summarize liability to panic disorder, agoraphobia, simple phobia, and social phobia. Kaabi et al. applied this method to the Yale panic disorder linkage families and found evidence of linkage to chromosomes 4q21, 4q32, 7p, and 8. When we apply the same method to the IA families, we obtain overlapping evidence of linkage to chromosomes 4q21 and 7p. Additionally, we find evidence of linkage on chromosomes 1, 5, 6, 16, and 22. The Columbia (CO) data does not indicate linkage to any of the Kaabi et al. peaks, instead implicating chromosomes 2 and 22q11 (2 Mb from COMT). There is some evidence of overlapping linkage between the IA and CO datasets on chromosomes 1 and 14. While use of fuzzy clustering has not produced complete concordance across datasets, it has produced more than previously seen in analyses of panic disorder proper. We conclude that chromosomes 4q21 and 7p should be considered strong candidate regions for panic and fear-associated anxiety disorder loci. More generally, this suggests that analyses including multiple aspects of psychopathology may lead to greater consistency across datasets.