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Schizophr Bull. 2010 Sep;36(5):983-90. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbp002. Epub 2009 Mar 12.

RGS4 polymorphisms associated with variability of cognitive performance in a family-based schizophrenia sample.

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  • 1University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.


Polymorphisms of the gene encoding the regulator of G protein signaling, subtype 4 (RGS4), may be associated with schizophrenia. Among first-episode schizophrenia patients, they are also associated with dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) volume. The DLPFC is a key region that regulates heritable cognitive functions implicated in schizophrenia pathogenesis. To further understand the relationship of RGS4 variants to schizophrenia, we examined their associations with cognitive functions among schizophrenia patients and their relatives. We analyzed 31 multiplex, multigenerational Caucasian families with schizophrenia recruited on the basis of 2 affected first-degree relatives. All participants underwent a computerized neurocognitive battery that evaluates accuracy and speed (response time) of performance on abstraction/mental flexibility; attention; verbal, spatial, and face memory; and spatial ability. "Tag" single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) representing common polymorphisms were genotyped. Measured genotype analyses accounting for family relationships were performed using Sequential Oligogenic Linkage Analysis Routines. SNPs rs10917670 ("SNP1") and rs951439 ("SNP7") were associated with face memory speed (P = .0003) at a significance level that survived Bonferroni correction (P = .039). The same SNPs have earlier been reported to be associated with schizophrenia. There also were uncorrected associations with rs10917670 ("SNP1") and rs951439 ("SNP7") on face memory efficiency (P = .03) and verbal memory efficiency (P = 0.02), rs28757217 on abstraction/mental flexibility speed (P = .02) and verbal memory efficiency (P = .03), SNP18 (rs2661319) on spatial memory accuracy (P = 0.02) and face memory speed (P = .03). RGS4 polymorphisms are associated with variations in cognitive functions and contribute a small but statistically significant proportion of variance in a family-based sample.

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