Linkage disequilibrium between an allele at the dopamine D4 receptor locus and Tourette syndrome, by the transmission-disequilibrium test. Academic Article uri icon


  • Dopaminergic abnormalities are implicated in the pathogenesis of Tourette syndrome (TS) and chronic multiple tics. We used the transmission-disequilibrium test (TDT) method to test for linkage disequilibrium between a specific allele (the seven-repeat allele (DRD4*7R) of the exon 3 VNTR polymorphic site) at the D4 dopamine receptor locus (DRD4) and expression of chronic multiple tics and TS. This particular allele had been shown in functional studies to have different binding properties compared with the other common alleles in this DRD4 polymorphic system. We studied 64 family trios (consisting of an affected person and two parents, at least one heterozygous for DRD4*7R), including 12 nuclear family trios and 52 trios from four large TS kindreds. The DRD4*7R allele was transmitted significantly more frequently than expected (chi 2 TDT ranging from 8.47 [P < .004] to 10.80 [P = .001], depending on breadth of disease definition and inclusion or exclusion of inferred genotypes). Confirmation of this finding will depend on either replication in other samples or the identification of a transmitted functional mutation within this sample.

publication date

  • September 1996