OBJECTIVE: The relationship between catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) polymorphisms and violent behaviour was tested in highly selected group of non-psychotic violent offenders.
METHODS: We conducted an association study comparing 47 male repeatedly sentenced for impulsive violent attacks diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD) with 43 healthy male controls matched on education. Three COMT polymorphisms were analysed: COMT Val158Met and COMT Ala146Val on exon 4, and untranslated polymorphism on the 6th exon, at the regulatory region of the COMT gene with deletion-insertion character del/C.
RESULTS: Logistic regression analysis revealed that while Val158Met is not associated with violence in APD, another COMT polymorphism - COMT Ala146Val is more frequent among violent offenders with APD (p=0.017).
CONCLUSIONS: To conclude, our findings provide further support that COMT is a modifying gene that plays a role in determining interindividual variability in the proclivity for violent behaviour in subjects without major mental disorder.