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Letters to the Editor
June 1999

Candidate Genes and Behavioral Traits—Candidly!

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1999;56(6):582-583. doi:

There are countless reports—some in this ARCHIVES—about the association between candidate genes (genes encoding products with neurobiological function such as dopamine receptors, tyrosine hydroxylase, and tryptophan hydroxylase) and a host of behavioral traits ranging from normal personality variants to psychopathologic conditions. Although conflicting results and other inconsistencies have spawned wary commentaries,17 the tide of ‘positive' results continues unabated. In what follows, I highlight pivotal issues in the design and interpretation of association studies, with an eye toward potential pitfalls.