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J Psychiatr Res. 2012 Jan;46(1):44-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2011.09.001. Epub 2011 Sep 17.

The CC genotype in HTR2A T102C polymorphism is associated with behavioral impulsivity in alcohol-dependent patients.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland.


High levels of impulsivity can increase the vulnerability for development of alcohol dependence. Moreover, impulsivity is considered to be a predictor of poor treatment outcomes. Few studies, however, have directly examined the genetics of impulsivity in alcohol-dependent patients. We analyzed the relationships between a well-recognized genetic marker of serotonin activity and levels of impulsivity as measured by both the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11) and the stop-signal task among 304 alcohol-dependent patients. The stop-signal task was used as an independent, objective method of estimating the level of behavioral impulsivity, and the BIS-11 as a self-report measure of global impulsivity. Blood was collected and analyzed for the T102C (rs6313) polymorphism in the serotonin type 2A receptor gene (HTR2A). Our results indicate a significant association between high levels of behavioral impulsivity and the C/C genotype of rs6313 in alcohol-dependent patients. The CC genotype has been previously found to be associated with a reduction in 5HT2A receptors in the central nervous system. These results support the hypothesis that genetic factors are important determinants of behavioral impulsivity in alcohol-dependent patients, and that the serotonin system plays an important role in establishing its level.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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