Genes involved in dopamine neurotransmission are interesting candidates to be analyzed in schizophrenia and aggressive behavior. Therefore, we analyzed the functional polymorphisms of the dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) and monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) genes in a sample of 71 schizophrenic patients assessed with the Overt Aggression Scale to measure aggressive behavior. CLUMP analysis of the DRD4 48-bp repeat-exon III polymorphism in schizophrenic patients showed significant differences between the aggressive behavior and the nonaggressive groups (T1 = 18.77, d.f. = 6, p = 0.0046; T3 = 6.54, p = 0.0195). However, analysis of the promoter polymorphism of the MAO-A gene revealed no significant association between aggressive and nonaggressive patients. Finally, analysis of Overt Aggression Scale dimensions exhibited significant differences for the DRD4 and MAO-A genes. Our preliminary findings suggest that the DRD4 and MAO-A genes may be involved in aggressive schizophrenic patients.

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