Coll Antropol 2002 Jun;26(1):77-84
Di Bacco M, Luiselli D, Manca ML, Siciliano G.
Department of Statistical Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the most common causes of neurological disability in early adulthood.
The current literature is interested in identifying biological or DNA markers associated with genetic susceptibility to MS.
The aim of this study is to investigate, by means of Bayesian statistical inference, whether the presence of Gc2 (Gc = group-specific component) and/or EsD1 (EsD = esterase D) alleles affects MS susceptibility.
Gc and EsD are two classical genetic markers, being the first a serum protein polymorphism, the latter an isoenzyme polymorphism.
The interest of the proposed statistical approach of searching for MS susceptibility genes relies on the analysis of two different functions, one function being inferred from our results on 56 unrelated patients from central Italy affected by MS, the other one from Italian and worldwide epidemiological data.
The graphical analysis suggests that MS susceptibility is influenced by both Gc2 and EsD1 alleles; and EsD1 allele is more informative than Gc2.
These results point out the advantages of the Bayesian approach in searching for susceptibility genes.
Furthermore, the significant association between the considered alleles and the susceptibility to MS suggests possible hypotheses about the pathogenesis of the disease.