The study can be accessed online [here].
It looked like this was going to be a promising study, evaluating two of our NPA candidate genes: 1) HLA linkage for absence of trait A, and 2) 5-HTT for trait P.
However, according to the NPA model, the authorsí premise is incorrect. They assume that each of the HLA and 5-HTT genes are 1) causative of ASD, and 2) cannot have the same alleles in affected and unaffected children, whereas we believe that neither of these assumptions is true. Rather the two genes simply determine a common underlying endophenotype (NP type of the NPA model) that must be present in their children with ASD. The actual causative gene(s) in the studied families are unknown, unmeasured and need not have any direct connection with the HLA and 5-HTT genes that were evaluated.
Therefore, their method of analysis is incorrect, and their LOD scores donít make much sense. Nevertheless, it seems that the study is not inconsistent with 1) a gene in linkage disequilibrium with HLA coding for absence of trait A, and 2) some haplotype involving 5-HTTLPR coding for trait P.
Itís like the early days of cosmology, when astronomers confused galaxies with stars.
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