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Am J Psychiatry. 2002 Apr;159(4):652-4.

A functional polymorphism in the COMT gene and performance on a test of prefrontal cognition.

Author information

  • 1Unit of Molecular Psychiatry, Hillside Hospital, Glen Oaks, NY 11004, USA. malhotra@lij.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

In the prefrontal cortex, the enzyme catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT) is critical in the metabolic degradation of dopamine, a neurotransmitter hypothesized to influence human cognitive function. The COMT gene contains a functional polymorphism, Val158Met, that exerts a fourfold effect on enzyme activity. The current study investigated whether prefrontal cognition varies with COMT genotype.

METHOD:

Val158Met was genotyped in 73 healthy volunteers. A task of prefrontal cognition, the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, was also administered.

RESULTS:

Subjects with only the low-activity met allele made significantly fewer perseverative errors on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test than did subjects with the val allele.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data are consistent with those of previous studies, suggesting that a functional genetic polymorphism may influence prefrontal cognition.

PMID:
11925305
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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