Birth order and the genetics of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
ABSTRACT The cause of ALS remains largely unknown for the 90% with no known family history, but spontaneous mutation to risk alleles of as yet unidentified genes is possible. It has long been recognized that genetic diseases may be more likely to occur in the last born children of a sibship because increased paternal age is associated with an increased spontaneous point mutation rate in sperm. To test the hypothesis that such a mechanism is responsible for sporadic ALS, we have performed a retrospective analysis of birth order position. We have analyzed sibships of size greater than four using a binomial test for birth position. The 478 pedigrees studied show no birth order effect, suggesting that any genetic contributions to sporadic ALS are more likely to be through deletion in large genes or interactions of common polymorphisms, rather than frequent spontaneous point mutation. This is encouraging for the prospect of finding sporadic ALS susceptibility genes using genome-wide association mapping.
- SourceAvailable from: Itai Berger[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Birth order is considered one of the most influential environmental factors in child development, affecting cognitive abilities and behavioral traits. This study investigates the effect of birth order in relation to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the most common neuro-behavioral disorder of childhood. The study describes birth order of 598 children aged 6 to 18 years diagnosed due to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. The cohort contains relatively large size families because 47.1% of the participants were born in families of more than 4 children. The results show no statistically significant differences in birth order of children among all families. We conclude that the chances of first, middle, or later born children, as well as single children, to suffer from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder are almost equal. This study provides evidence that birth order has no effect in relation to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.Journal of child neurology 03/2009; 24(6):692-6. DOI:10.1177/0883073808330763 · 1.67 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: To determine whether the frequency of Parkinson disease (PD), dementia, and vascular diseases in relatives of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) differs from the frequency of those diseases in relatives of controls, providing further information about the association between these diseases. We studied the occurrence of neurodegenerative and vascular diseases in families of patients with ALS in a prospective, population-based, case-control study in the Netherlands between 2006 and 2009, using the recurrence risk λ. Family history data were obtained by asking participants to fill in questionnaires. A total of 635 patients and 1,616 controls were included. The frequency of dementia was mildly increased only among parents and siblings of patients with sporadic ALS (λ1.32; 95 confidence interval [CI] 1.10-1.59), not among grandparents, or aunts and uncles. The risk of PD was not elevated (any relative: λ 0.91; 95% CI 0.70-1.17). Among relatives of patients with familial ALS, no significantly increased risk of neurodegenerative diseases was found. A reduced risk of vascular diseases was found in relatives of patients with sporadic ALS (stroke: λ 0.90; 95% CI 0.80-1.01 and myocardial infarction: λ 0.86; 95% CI 0.79-0.94), and in relatives of patients with familial ALS (stroke: λ 0.88; 95% CI 0.61-1.27 and myocardial infarction: λ 0.61; 95% CI 0.43-0.86). This large, prospective, population-based study showed that familial aggregation of ALS, dementia, and PD is substantially lower than previously thought. The lowered risk of vascular diseases in relatives of patients with ALS supports the view that a beneficial vascular risk profile increases ALS susceptibility.Neurology 09/2011; 77(14):1363-9. DOI:10.1212/WNL.0b013e318231530b · 8.30 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Sporadic ALS is a multifactorial disease for which there are probably multiple genetic risk factors. An association with increased parental age might suggest there is a role for specific (epi)genetic changes. Previous studies have shown conflicting results on the association between parental age and the risk of ALS. A large, population based study might help in the search for specific (epi)genetic risk factors. We performed a population based, case-control study in the Netherlands. Date of birth of both mother and father was retrieved from the National Register. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed in 769 patients with sporadic ALS, 49 patients with a hexanucleotide repeat expansion in C9orf72, and 1929 age-, gender- and geographically-matched controls. Multivariate analyses showed no difference in either paternal or maternal age at delivery (adjusted for age of subject, age of other parent at delivery, and level of education) in patients with sporadic ALS, nor in patients with a hexanucleotide repeat expansion in C9orf72 compared to controls. In conclusion, parental age was not associated with an increased risk of ALS in our study. (Epi)genetic alterations that are associated with increased parental age are not, therefore, likely to contribute to the aetiology of sporadic ALS.Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis 11/2012; 14(3). DOI:10.3109/21678421.2012.739176 · 2.37 Impact Factor