Little is known concerning the susceptibility genes for autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD). However, epidemiologic evidence for a genetic susceptibility to AITD is abundant; the diseases cluster in families, they are more common in women, the concordance rate in monozygotic twins is up to 70 percent, and studies have demonstrated an association between AITD and certain HLA alleles.
The aim of this research proposal, therefore, is to detect the susceptibility genes for AITD. The applicants will achieve this aim by the use of highly polymorphic microsatellite-based whole genome screening of informative families with Graves' disease and/or Hashimoto's disease. To date, there has been only sparse modern research into the genetics of AITD because of the complex nature of the disorders. The applicants claim that their group is one of the few with previous experience in the analysis of families with AITD and they can now bring together their sources of well characterized families and expertise in the use of automated fluorescence-tagged microsatellite markers.
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