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Psychiatry Res. 2013 Oct 30;209(3):504-11. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2013.04.027. Epub 2013 Jun 7.

Cholinergic receptor gene (CHRM2) variation and familial loading for alcohol dependence predict childhood developmental trajectories of P300.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA. Electronic address:


P300 amplitude in childhood predicts substance use disorders by young adulthood. Trajectories of visual P300 amplitude show an association between low amplitude P300 and familial risk for alcohol dependence (AD). Variation in the cholinergic muscarinic receptor gene (CHRM2) has previously been associated with P300 amplitude and AD. The present study used group based trajectory modeling of auditory P300 data collected longitudinally from offspring in families with and without familial loading for AD to determine if specific trajectories would be associated with familial risk and CHRM2 variation. Trajectory modeling confirms previous reports of an association between the low visual P300 trajectory with high familial risk in male offspring. This association was detected in offspring in the 8-12 age range, but not in 13-18 or 19-29 year olds or in high-risk female offspring. CHRM2 association analysis with P300 finds 8-12 year olds who are homozygous for the T allele of rs1824024 are 2.6 times more likely to follow a P300 trajectory characterized by lower and slower change regardless of familial loading. Combining the odds for being male and having a TT genotype results in odds of 6.5 that individuals will follow the low P300 trajectory.


Alcohol dependence; CHRM2; Childhood; ERP; High-risk; Offspring; P300

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