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Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2004 Feb 15;125B(1):120-5.

Haplotypes of the monoamine oxidase genes and the risk for substance use disorders.

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Center for Education and Drug Abuse Research, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261, USA.


Monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) locus is an attractive candidate for exploring genetic contribution to the variation in the risk for substance use disorders (SUD) because of its important role in the metabolism of neurotransmitters, including dopamine and serotonin. Prior findings have suggested an association of the MAOA gene with the risk for early onset SUD. To extend this research, we genotyped four MAOA markers (two VNTR polymorphisms and two SNPs) and built a cladogram reflecting the evolutionary history of MAOA haplotypes [Nguyen et al., under review]. The cladogram served as the framework for nested ANOVA and logit analyses of association between MAOA and indices of liability to SUD (diagnosis, age of onset, and a dimensional index of substance use related problems) in a sample of adult males of European ancestry. Whereas no association was found for the categorical diagnosis, a significant relationship was detected between the dimensional liability indices and MAOA haplotypes. Overall, our results, albeit not definitive, are consistent with the hypothesis that variants in MAOA account for a small portion of the variance of SUD risk, possibly mediated by liability to early onset behavioral problems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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