Wednesday, January 21, 2009

'Warrior gene' predicts aggressive behavior after provocation

January 21st, 2009 in Medicine & Health / Genetics

Individuals with the so-called "warrior gene" display higher levels of aggression in response to provocation, according to new research co-authored by Rose McDermott, professor of political science at Brown University. . . .

Monoamine oxidase A is an enzyme that breaks down important neurotransmitters in the brain, including dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. The enzyme is regulated by monoamine oxidase A gene (MAOA). Humans have various forms of the gene, resulting in different levels of enzymatic activity. People with the low-activity form (MAOA-L) produce less of the enzyme, while the high-activity form (MAOA-H) produces more of the enzyme.

Several studies have found a correlation between the low-activity form of MAOA and aggression in observational and survey-based studies. Only about a third of people in Western populations have the low-activity form of MAOA. By comparison, low-activity MAOA has been reported to be much more frequent (approaching two-thirds of people) in some populations that had a history of warfare. This led to a controversy over MAOA being dubbed the "warrior gene."

No comments:

Post a Comment