Variation in catechol-O-methyltransferase val 158 met genotype associated with schizotypy but not cognition: A population study in 543 young men

Nicholas C. Stefanis, Jim Van Os, Dimitrios Avramopoulos, Nikolaos Smyrnis, Ioannis Evdokimidis, Ioanna Hantoumi, Costas N. Stefanis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Increased catechol-O-methyltransferase activity associated with variation in catechol-O-methyltransferase valine 158 methionine genotypesmay result in reduced dopamine neurotransmission in the prefrontal cortex and thus contribute to the poor performance of frontally mediated cognitive tasks and the occurrence of associated negative symptoms observed in patients with schizophrenia; however, reported associations between catechol-O- methyltransferase valine 158 methionine genotypes and measures of cognition have not been consistent. Catechol-O-methyltransferase genotyping, measures of schizotypy, cognitive measures of memory and attention, as well as the antisaccade eye movement task, a measure sensitive to prefrontal cortical function, were obtained in a sample of 543 young men representative for that age group (mean age 21 years). None of the cognitive measures was associated with catechol-O-methyltransferase valine 158 methionine genotypes; however, there was an effect of high-activity allele loading on schizotypy, in particular the negative and disorganization dimensions. Previously reported inconsistencies in the relationship between catechol-O-methyltransferase valine 158 methionine genotypes and cognition were not resolved; however, catechol-O-methyltransferase genotype may affect expression of negative schizotypy by direct or indirect effects on central dopamine neurotransmitter signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)510-515
Number of pages6
JournalBiological psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Catechol-O-methyltransferase
  • cognition
  • genetics
  • negative symptoms
  • schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry


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