Association between catechol O-methyltransferase genotype and violence in schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder

H M Lachman, K A Nolan, P Mohr, T Saito, J Volavka
1998 American Journal of Psychiatry  
The authors previously reported a relationship between an allele encoding the low activity variant of catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT) and aggressive behavior in schizophrenic patients. This study replicates and extends these findings by using more direct measures of violent behavior. Fifty-five white patients (34 men, 21 women) with DSM-IV diagnoses of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were selected to form two groups (violent and nonviolent) on the basis of history of aggressive
more » ... ry of aggressive behavior. COMT genotypes were determined by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. A significant association was found between COMT genotype and history of violent behavior. Sixty-four percent of patients homozygous for the low-activity COMT allele were violent; 80% of patients homozygous for the high-activity allele were nonviolent. The gene determining the activity of an important regulatory enzyme in catecholamine inactivation is associated with violent behavior in patients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder.
doi:10.1176/ajp.155.6.835 pmid:9619160 fatcat:6u6nilx2zvgwlcontz3tjuzwcy