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Aggressive behaviour in patients with schizophrenia is associated with catechol-O-methyltransferase genotype

Jones, Gaynor, Zammit, Stanley, Norton, Nadine, Hamshere, Marian Lindsay, Jones, S. J., Milham, C., Sanders, R. D., McCarthy, G. M., Jones, L. A., Cardno, Alastair G., Gray, M., Murphy, K. C. and Owen, Michael John 2001. Aggressive behaviour in patients with schizophrenia is associated with catechol-O-methyltransferase genotype. British Journal of Psychiatry 179 (4) , pp. 351-355. 10.1192/bjp.179.4.351

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Background Evidence exists for an association between aggression and schizophrenia. Although the aetiology of aggression is multifactorial, three studies have reported associations between polymorphisms of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene and aggression in schizophrenia. Aims To replicate these findings in a larger sample using the Overt Aggression Scale (OAS). Method A sample of 180 people with DSM—IV schizophrenia were rated for aggression using the OAS. Kruskal—Wallis and contingency table analyses were applied to the OAS results. Results The high-activity homozygotes showed significantly higher scores of aggression, whereas the heterozygotes showed significantly lower scores. The odds ratio for aggression for the high-activity homozygotes was 2.07 (95% Cl=1.03-4.15), whereas that for the heterozygotes was 0.54 (95% Cl=0.30-1.00). Conclusions The high-activity COMT homozygote confers a higher risk of recorded aggression in schizophrenia. Heterozygotes had a significantly lower risk, which may represent an example of heterosis/heterozygote advantage.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Publisher: Royal College of Psychiatrists
ISSN: 0007-1250
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Last Modified: 11 Feb 2020 14:32

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