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

Jones, Gaynor, Zammit, Stanley ORCID:, Norton, Nadine ORCID:, Hamshere, Marian Lindsay ORCID:, 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 ORCID: 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: 09 Nov 2022 09:17

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