, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 1-2
Date: 18 Sep 2011

Editorial Policy on Candidate Gene Association and Candidate Gene-by-Environment Interaction Studies of Complex Traits

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The literature on candidate gene associations is full of reports that have not stood up to rigorous replication. This is the case both for straightforward main effects and for candidate gene-by-environment interactions (Duncan and Keller 2011). As a result, the psychiatric and behavior genetics literature has become confusing and it now seems likely that many of the published findings of the last decade are wrong or misleading and have not contributed to real advances in knowledge. The reasons for this are complex, but include the likelihood that effect sizes of individual polymorphisms are small, that studies have therefore been underpowered, and that multiple hypotheses and methods of analysis have been explored; these conditions will result in an unacceptably high proportion of false findings (Ioannidis 2005).

Because of this, the Editor and Editorial Board have increasingly erred on the side of caution in considering candidate gene association studies of complex traits. To avoid pub ...