Association of autism severity with a monoamine oxidase A functional polymorphism Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • A functional polymorphism (the upstream variable-number tandem repeat region, or uVNTR) in the monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) promoter region has been reported to be associated with behavioral abnormalities as well as increased serotonergic responsivity. We examined the relation between MAOA-uVNTR alleles and the phenotypic expression of autism in 41 males younger than 12.6 years of age. Children with the low-activity MAOA allele had both lower intelligence quotients (IQ) and more severe autistic behavior than children with the high-activity allele. In follow-up testing of 34 of the males at the 1-year time-point, those with the low-activity allele showed a worsening in IQ but no change in the severity of their autistic behavior. We conclude that functional MAOA-uVNTR alleles may act as a genetic modifier of the severity of autism in males.

authors

  • Cohen, IL
  • Liu, X
  • Schutz, C
  • White, Bradley
  • Jenkins, EC
  • Brown, WT
  • Holden, JJA

publication date

  • September 2003

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