No substantial signal was observed for either MAOA
or CDH13 among non-violent offenders, indicating that findings were specific for violent offending," said the study, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.
118) The MAO A gene controls the MAOA
enzyme activity that "breaks down many of the brain's key neurotransmitters" such as serotonin and dopamine.
gene is located on the X chromosome and is involved in the metabolism of biogenic amines, including dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin (Shirh, Chen & Ridd, 1999).
methylation is associated with nicotine and alcohol dependence in women.
, FOXP2) as potential causes of autism (Wassink, Brzustowicz, Bartlett, & Szatmari, 2004).
Specifically, Caspi and Moffitt found that maltreatment could induce antisocial personality disorder in children with a variant MAOA
gene, which codes an enzyme that metabolizes neurotransmitters in the brain.
, Maltreatment, and Gene-Environment Interaction
Maltreated children with the low activity MAOA
gene were more likely to develop antisocial behavior than maltreated children with the high activity MAOA
is an enzyme that inactivates serotonin, a neurotransmitter thought to exert largely inhibitory effects.
One of the gene variants fields weak MAOA
activity in the brain, resulting in elevated concentrations of serotonin.
The bad news is that the MAOA
study was the subject of a piece in Popular Mechanics titled "Criminal Genes.
Monkeys and rats with low or nonexistent MAOA
levels have demonstrated a greater tendency toward aggressive behavior than their counterparts with normal functioning levels.