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J Alzheimers Dis. 2009;17(2):441-8. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2009-1054.

Dopamine D3 receptor gene polymorphism influences on behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) in mild dementia of Alzheimer's type.

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Department of Neuropsychiatry, Hyogo College of Medicine, Hyogo, Japan.


Dopamine D3 receptor (DRD3) is present in the limbic system, which is thought to regulate affect, cognition, and activity. Thus a functional change in the DRD3 gene could in turn affect the cognitive and psychiatric symptoms of dementia of Alzheimer's type (DAT). We investigated a possible association of DRD3 genotype with DAT and the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) in mild DAT. The genotyping for DRD3 and apolipoprotein E (ApoE) was determined using restriction fragment length polymorphism in 210 patients with mild DAT and 224 age- and sex-matched non-demented controls. The occurrence of BPSD during the course of mild dementia was demonstrated using the Behavioral Pathology in Alzheimer's Disease rating scale (BEHAVE-AD). No significant differences in DRD3 genotype were identified between DAT and controls, regardless of ApoE epsilon4. Among the DAT with BPSD, however, a significant association was observed between the presence of the DRD3 glycine allele and paranoid and delusional ideation, regardless of ApoE epsilon4. In conclusion, DRD3 gene polymorphism is unlikely to play a substantial role in conferring susceptibility to DAT, but it may be involved in the development of paranoid and delusional ideation during the course of mild DAT.

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