In Mendelian randomization (MR), inference about causal relationship between a phenotype of interest and a response or disease outcome can be obtained by constructing instrumental variables from genetic variants. However, MR inference requires three assumptions, one of which is that the genetic variants only influence the outcome through phenotype of interest. Pleiotropy, that is, the situation in which some genetic variants affect more than one phenotype, can invalidate these genetic variants for use as instrumental variables; thus a naive analysis will give biased estimates of the causal relation. Here, we present new methods (constrained instrumental variable [CIV] methods) to construct valid instrumental variables and perform adjusted causal effect estimation when pleiotropy exists and when the pleiotropic phenotypes are available. We demonstrate that a smoothed version of CIV performs approximate selection of genetic variants that are valid instruments, and provides unbiased estimates of the causal effects. We provide details on a number of existing methods, together with a comparison of their performance in a large series of simulations. CIV performs robustly across different pleiotropic violations of the MR assumptions. We also analyzed the data from the Alzheimer's disease (AD) neuroimaging initiative (ADNI; Mueller et al., 2005. Alzheimer's Dementia, 11(1), 55-66) to disentangle causal relationships of several biomarkers with AD progression.

U1 - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30635941?dopt=Abstract ER - TY - JOUR T1 - Principal component of explained variance: An efficient and optimal data dimension reduction framework for association studies. JF - Stat Methods Med Res Y1 - 2016 A1 - Turgeon, Maxime A1 - Oualkacha, Karim A1 - Ciampi, Antonio A1 - Miftah, Hanane A1 - Dehghan, Golsa A1 - Zanke, Brent W A1 - Benedet, Andrea L A1 - Pedro Rosa-Neto A1 - Greenwood, Celia Mt A1 - AurĂ©lie Labbe AB -The genomics era has led to an increase in the dimensionality of data collected in the investigation of biological questions. In this context, dimension-reduction techniques can be used to summarise high-dimensional signals into low-dimensional ones, to further test for association with one or more covariates of interest. This paper revisits one such approach, previously known as principal component of heritability and renamed here as principal component of explained variance (PCEV). As its name suggests, the PCEV seeks a linear combination of outcomes in an optimal manner, by maximising the proportion of variance explained by one or several covariates of interest. By construction, this method optimises power; however, due to its computational complexity, it has unfortunately received little attention in the past. Here, we propose a general analytical PCEV framework that builds on the assets of the original method, i.e. conceptually simple and free of tuning parameters. Moreover, our framework extends the range of applications of the original procedure by providing a computationally simple strategy for high-dimensional outcomes, along with exact and asymptotic testing procedures that drastically reduce its computational cost. We investigate the merits of the PCEV using an extensive set of simulations. Furthermore, the use of the PCEV approach is illustrated using three examples taken from the fields of epigenetics and brain imaging.

U1 - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27460538?dopt=Abstract ER -