Dopamine hypotheses of several psychiatric disorders are based upon the clinical benefits of drugs affecting dopamine transporter or receptors, and have prompted intensive candidate gene research within the dopaminergic system during the last two decades. The aim of this review is to survey the most important findings concerning dopaminergic gene polymorphisms in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Tourette syndrome (TS), obsessive compulsive disorder, and substance abuse. Also, genetic findings of related phenotypes, such as inattention, impulsivity, aggressive behavior, and novelty seeking personality trait are presented, because recent studies have applied quantitative trait measures using questionnaires, symptom scales, or other objective endophenotypes. Unfortunately, genetic variants with minor effects are problematic to detect in these complex inheritance disorders, often leading to contradictory results. The most consistent association findings relate to ADHD and the dopamine transporter and the dopamine D4 receptor genes. Meta-analyses also support the association between substance abuse and the D2 receptor gene. The dopamine catabolizing enzyme genes, such as monoamine oxidase (MAO) A and catechol- O-methyltransferase (COMT) genes, have been linked to aggressive behaviors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Behavioral Neuroscience