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An association between a polymorphism of the tryptophan hydroxylase gene and aggression in schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder.

Nolan, Karen A.; Volavka, Jan; Lachman, Herbert M.; Saito, Takuya
Psychiatric Genetics:

: Serotonergic pathways have been implicated in impulsive and aggressive behavior. Polymorphisms in the regulatory region of the serotonin transporter (5-HTT), in intron 7 of the tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) gene and in the MAOA gene were previously reported to be associated with mood and anxiety disorders, impulsivity and aggression. In this study, we analyzed these polymorphisms in men and women with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (n = 84) who met our criteria for violence (history of two or more assaults on others) or nonviolence (no history of either assaultive or threatening behavior). In males, a modest association between TPH genotype and history of violence (chi-square test = 6.703, degrees of freedom = 2, P = 0.035) was not statistically significant after correction for multiple comparisons (corrected P = 0.21). The TPH L allele was more frequent in violent males (chi-square = 5.323, degrees of freedom = 1, P = 0.021) but this difference also failed to withstand correction (corrected P = 0.126). No significant associations were found for either the 5-HTT or MAOA polymorphisms in males or females. These results tend to support previous reports by New el al. (1996; 1998) of an association between the TPH L allele and impulsive aggression in males with personality disorder, but larger studies are needed.

(C) 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.