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Am J Psychiatry. 2000 Jun;157(6):948-55.

Association between bipolar disorder and monoamine oxidase A gene polymorphisms: results of a multicenter study.

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  • 1Departement Universitaire de Psychiatrie Adulte, Lausanne, Switzerland. mpreisig@inst.hospvd.ch



Although genetic factors have been implicated in the etiology of bipolar disorder, no specific gene has been conclusively identified. Given the link between abnormalities in serotonergic neurotransmission and bipolar disorder, a candidate gene association approach was applied to study the involvement of the monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) gene, which codes for a catabolic enzyme of serotonin, in the susceptibility to bipolar disorder.


In France and Switzerland, 272 patients with bipolar disorder and 122 healthy subjects were typed for three polymorphic markers of the MAOA gene: the MAOA-CA repeat, the MAOA restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), and a repeat directly adjacent to the variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR) locus.


A significant difference in the distribution of the alleles for the MAOA-CA repeat was observed between the female bipolar patients and comparison group.


The results obtained in the French and Swiss population confirm findings from two studies conducted in the United Kingdom.

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