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Association of COMT Val158Met Polymorphism with Psychopathological Symptoms in Patients with Eating Disorders

[ Vol. 18 , Issue. 1 ]

Author(s):

G. Gervasini*, L.M. Gonzalez, S. Mota-Zamorano, C. Gamero-Villarroel, J.A. Carrillo, I. Flores and A. Garcia-Herraiz   Pages 65 - 70 ( 6 )

Abstract:


Background: Dopamine physiological functions make dopaminergic genes suitable candidates for association studies in eating disorders (ED). A Val158Met polymorphism in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene, which is involved in dopamine degradation, has been studied in relation to ED.

Objective: We aimed to analyze the association between this polymorphism and general psychopathological symptoms that are often coupled to these disorders.

Method: A total of 303 ED patients, diagnosed according to DSM-5 criteria, completed the SCL-90R questionnaire and were genotyped for the Val158Met polymorphism.

Results: There were significant differences in the global indices of the SCL-90R inventory between the three ED groups (Anorexia Nervosa (AN), Bulimia Nervosa (BN) and binge-eating disorder; ANOVA-p < 0.05). Females with BN showed the highest scores (worse symptomatology) of all participants. In this group, a gene-dose effect was observed on the psychometric evaluation of the patients, as Val/Val carriers displayed the highest scores for all the SCL-90R scales, followed by Val/Met and then Met/Met carriers. Significant differences between genotypes were observed in the Obsessive- Compulsive (p = 0.018), Paranoid Ideation (p = 0.0005) and Psychoticism (p = 0.039) scales, as well as in the PSDI (p = 0.014) general index.

Conclusion: The results taken together suggest that COMT genetic variability may contribute to general psychopathological symptoms in patients with BN.

Keywords:

Eating disorders, Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, dopamine, COMT, polymorphism, binge-eating.

Affiliation:

Department of Medical and Surgical Therapeutics, Medical School, University of Extremadura, Badajoz, Department of Medical and Surgical Therapeutics, Medical School, University of Extremadura, Badajoz, Department of Medical and Surgical Therapeutics, Medical School, University of Extremadura, Badajoz, Department of Medical and Surgical Therapeutics, Medical School, University of Extremadura, Badajoz, Department of Medical and Surgical Therapeutics, Medical School, University of Extremadura, Badajoz, Eating Disorders Unit, Institute of Mental Disorders of Extremadura, Badajoz, Eating Disorders Unit, Institute of Mental Disorders of Extremadura, Badajoz



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