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Addict Biol. 2015 Jan;20(1):197-204. doi: 10.1111/adb.12098. Epub 2013 Oct 3.

Val158Met COMT polymorphism and risk of aggression in alcohol dependence.

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Department of Psychiatry, Ludwig Maximilian University, Germany; Privatklinik Meiringen, Switzerland.


Aggression, violence and antisocial behavior are common in alcoholism, but their biological basis is poorly understood. Several studies and recent meta-analyses indicate that in schizophrenia the catecholamine-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met genotype may be associated with aggression, most often in methionine allele carriers. We tested this hypothesis in a sample of treatment-seeking alcohol-dependent in-patients (293 German patients and 499 controls, and additional 190 Polish patients as replication sample). As expected, patients with a history of violent or non-violent crime were more often male, had an earlier onset of alcoholism and more withdrawal seizures and delirium tremens, and were more likely to have a history of suicide attempts. COMT genotype was not associated with a history of violent or non-violent crime. More studies are needed on the neurobiological basis of aggression and violence in alcoholism.


Aggression; COMT; alcohol; alcoholism; genetics

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