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Psychiatr Genet. 2003 Jun;13(2):61-4.

NOTCH4 gene promoter polymorphism is associated with the age of onset in schizophrenia.

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University of Tampere, Medical School, Tampereen yliopisto, Finland.



The NOTCH4 gene has a promoter polymor-phism at position -25, which leads to the three genotypes TT, CT and CC. These have been suggested to present a novel independent genetic risk factor for schizophrenia. We conducted a prospective case-control study to explore the impact of NOTCH4 T-25C polymorphism on the factors associated with schizophrenia.


NOTCH4 gene promoter T-25C polymorphism was determined by polymerase chain reaction among 94 patients with schizophrenia and 94 healthy age-matched and sex-matched blood donors.


The T allele was highly associated with an earlier age of onset in male patients of schizophrenia (Kaplan-Meier log-rank test P<0.0001). Moreover, the male patients carrying the T allele were born significantly more often in June-November compared with other months of the year [odds ratio=3.92 (95% confidence interval=1.025-15.018), P=0.046]. No association was determined, however, between the NOTCH4 gene polymorphism under study and schizophrenia.


The NOTCH4 T-25C polymorphism has an important effect on the age of onset in schizophrenia and thus may be related to an early pathogenesis of schizophrenia in young patients. Alternatively, these findings may represent a significant genetic marker for managing subgroups and etiological clues in schizophrenia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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