Previous linkage studies in schizophrenia have been discouraging due to inconsistent findings and weak signals. Genetic heterogeneity has been cited as one of the primary culprits for such inconsistencies. We have performed a 10-cM autosomal genomewide linkage scan for schizophrenia susceptibility regions, using 29 multiplex families of Ashkenazi Jewish descent. Although there is no evidence that the rate of schizophrenia among the Ashkenazim differs from that in other populations, we have focused on this population in hopes of reducing genetic heterogeneity among families and increasing the detectable effects of any particular locus. We pursued both allele-sharing and parametric linkage analyses as implemented in Genehunter, version 2.0. Our strongest signal was achieved at chromosome 10q22.3 (D10S1686), with a nonparametric linkage score (NPL) of 3.35 (genomewide empirical P = .035) and a dominant heterogeneity LOD score (HLOD) of 3.14. Six other regions gave NPL scores >2.00 (on chromosomes 1p32.2, 4q34.3, 6p21.31, 7p15.2, 15q11.2, and 21q21.2). Upon follow-up with an additional 23 markers in the chromosome 10q region, our peak NPL score increased to 4.27 (D10S1774; empirical P = .00002), with a 95% confidence interval of 12.2 Mb for the location of the trait locus (D10S1677 to D10S1753). We find these results encouraging for the study of schizophrenia among Ashkenazi families and suggest further linkage and association studies in this chromosome 10q region.
ASJC Scopus subject areas