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Open Access Short paper

Correlation of CAG repeat length between the maternal and paternal allele of the Huntingtin gene: evidence for assortative mating

Peg Nopoulos123*, Eric A Epping1, Tom Wassink1, Bradley L Schlaggar4567 and Joel Perlmutter4678

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa, USA

2 Department of Pediatrics, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa, USA

3 Department of Neurology, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa, USA

4 Department of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA

5 Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA

6 Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA

7 Department of Neurology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA

8 Department of Occupational Therapy, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA

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Behavioral and Brain Functions 2011, 7:45  doi:10.1186/1744-9081-7-45

Published: 18 October 2011

Abstract

Triplet repeats contribute to normal variation in behavioral traits and when expanded, cause brain disorders. While Huntington's Disease is known to be caused by a CAG triplet repeat in the gene Huntingtin, the effect of CAG repeats on brain function below disease threshold has not been studied. The current study shows a significant correlation between the CAG repeat length of the maternal and paternal allele in the Huntingtin gene among healthy subjects, suggesting assortative mating.