BACKGROUND: Autosomal recessive Stargardt's disease is a macular degeneration characterised by a juvenile onset and a rapidly progressive course resulting in an atrophic macular area typically surrounded by yellowish retinal flecks. METHOD: The disease locus has previously been assigned to markers from chromosome 1p21-p13 by genetic linkage analysis in eight multiplex Stargardt's disease families. RESULTS: In an extended analysis, the assignment to chromosome 1p was confirmed in the majority of the 21 families with Stargardt's disease who were studied. In addition, a series of recombinant chromosomes further narrowed the Stargardt's disease region to an approximately 3 cM interval between markers at D1S424 and D1S497. CONCLUSION: Multipoint linkage analysis most probably excludes this locus in three of these families suggesting non-allelic heterogeneity with at least one additional minor Stargardt's disease locus.
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