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Gene Set Analysis for improving genetic association studies
Universitat de Vic. Escola Politècnica Superior; Universitat de Vic. Màster Universitari en Anàlisi de Dades Òmiques
Curs 2012-2013 Introduction. Genetic epidemiology is focused on the study of the genetic causes that determine health and diseases in populations. To achieve this goal a common strategy is to explore differences in genetic variability between diseased and nondiseased individuals. Usual markers of genetic variability are single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) which are changes in just one base in the genome. The usual statistical approach in genetic epidemiology study is a marginal analysis, where each SNP is analyzed separately for association with the phenotype. Motivation. It has been observed, that for common diseases the single-SNP analysis is not very powerful for detecting genetic causing variants. In this work, we consider Gene Set Analysis (GSA) as an alternative to standard marginal association approaches. GSA aims to assess the overall association of a set of genetic variants with a phenotype and has the potential to detect subtle effects of variants in a gene or a pathway that might be missed when assessed individually. Objective. We present a new optimized implementation of a pair of gene set analysis methodologies for analyze the individual evidence of SNPs in biological pathways. We perform a simulation study for exploring the power of the proposed methodologies in a set of scenarios with different number of causal SNPs under different effect sizes. In addition, we compare the results with the usual single-SNP analysis method. Moreover, we show the advantage of using the proposed gene set approaches in the context of an Alzheimer disease case-control study where we explore the Reelin signal pathway. Director/a: M. Luz Calle
Alzheimer, Malaltia d'
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