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Alcohol Alcohol. 2003 Jan-Feb;38(1):31-4.

No association between a polymorphism in the promoter region of the MAOA gene with antisocial personality traits in alcoholics.

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  • 1Psychiatrische Klinik und Poliklinik der LMU München, Nussbaumstrasse 7, 80336 München, Germany.



We analysed the MAOAuVNTR functional polymorphism in the promoter region of the X-chromosomal monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) gene. Genotypes with three-repeat alleles were reported to be associated with antisocial as well as impulsive traits.


The repeat number (3-5) of the MAOA polymorphism was determined in 169 male alcoholic subjects and 72 controls of German descent. Behavioural and personality traits were evaluated using the Brown-Goodwin Assessment for History of Lifetime Aggression, the Buss Durkee Hostility Inventory, as well as the Barrat Impulsiveness Score. A median split in Brown-Goodwin, Buss Durkee Irritability, Buss Durkee Assault and Barrat Impulsiveness Score was conducted.


High scores were found, i.e. 47.9% in Brown-Goodwin, 65.7% in Buss Durkee Irritability, 63.3% in Buss Durkee Assault and 59.8% in Barrat Impulsiveness Scale, indicating high impulsiveness, irritability and antisocial behaviour. Based on the results of these questionnaires, we detected no significant differences between the frequency of the three-repeat allele and high or low scores in alcoholics and controls.


Taken together, these findings suggest that the three-repeat allele of the MAOAuVNTR 30-bp polymorphism is not associated with impulsive and aggressive personality traits.

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