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Association between the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Val¹⁵⁸Met Polymorphism and Alexithymia in Patients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

 Min Jung Koh  ;  Jee In Kang  ;  Kee Namkoong  ;  Su Young Lee  ;  Se Joo Kim 
 Yonsei Medical Journal, Vol.57(3) : 721-727, 2016 
Journal Title
 Yonsei Medical Journal 
Issue Date
Adult ; Affective Symptoms/diagnosis* ; Affective Symptoms/genetics ; Affective Symptoms/psychology ; Alleles ; Catechol O-Methyltransferase/genetics* ; Female ; Genotype ; Humans ; Male ; Middle Aged ; Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder/diagnosis* ; Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder/genetics ; Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder/psychology ; Phenotype ; Polymorphism, Genetic* ; Republic of Korea
Alexithymia ; COMT Val¹⁵⁸Met polymorphism ; Toronto alexithymia scale ; endophenotype ; obsessive-compulsive disorder
PURPOSE: Alexithymia, defined as a deficit in the ability to recognize and describe one's own feelings, may be related to the development and maintenance of obsessive-compulsive symptoms. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val¹⁵⁸Met polymorphism and alexithymia in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). MATERIALS AND METHODS: We recruited 244 patients with OCD (169 males, 75 females). Alexithymia was assessed using the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), and genotyping of the COMT Val¹⁵⁸Met polymorphism was evaluated. RESULTS: Patients with the COMT Val/Val genotype had significantly higher total and "difficulty identifying feelings" (DIF) subdimension scores than those with the Val/Met or Met/Met genotypes. Patients with the COMT Val/Val genotype had significantly higher "difficulty describing feelings" (DDF) subdimension scores than those with the COMT Val/Met genotype. However, there were no differences in the scores for the "externally oriented thinking" (EOT) subdimension among the three genotypes. CONCLUSION: These results indicate that the high-activity Val allele of the COMT Val¹⁵⁸Met polymorphism is associated with increased alexithymic traits in patients with OCD. The present finding suggests that alexithymia is an endophenotype of OCD that is mediated by the COMT Val¹⁵⁸Met polymorphism.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Psychiatry (정신과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kang, Jee In(강지인) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2818-7183
Kim, Se Joo(김세주) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5438-8210
Namkoong, Kee(남궁기) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1400-8057
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