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Showing posts from January, 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 …