Stuttering is a complex developmental speech disorder of unknown etiology. There is a substantial aggregation of stuttering in families, suggesting a genetic component to the disorder. However, the exact mode of transmission is still unknown. An earlier study of 56 multigenerational pedigrees ascertained through single adult probands (38 males and 18 females) found that biological relatives of persistent developmental stutterers have an approximately 10-fold higher risk than in the general population; risk is higher for male relatives, and proband's sex does not affect recurrence and relative risks. In the present paper we conduct a complex segregation analysis of the same data, using the logistic regression model of the SAGE software. Based on the comparisons of model likelihoods, the Mendelian model was selected over all other nongenetic models and the general transmission model. This model was further refined into the most parsimonious model, which shows an autosomal dominant major gene effect influenced by two covariates: sex and affection status of parents. With this model applied to 47 informative multiplex pedigrees, a power calculation based on linkage simulation produced an average lod score of 6.8 for 10-cM density genome scan markers. These results give impetus for a genomewide linkage analysis of susceptibility to persistent developmental stuttering.
- Complex segregation analysis
- Linkage simulation
- Major dominant gene model with incomplete penetrance
- Persistent developmental stuttering