Hosák L., Hanušová A., Beránek M., Čermáková E.: The Val158Met Polymorphism of the
Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Gene and Psychotic Symptoms in Methamphetamine
Hosák L.1, Hanušová A.1, Beránek M.2, Čermáková E.3
Psychiatrická klinika LF UK a FN, Hradec Králové, přednosta prof. MUDr. J. Libiger, CSc.1 Ústav klinické biochemie a diagnostiky LF UK a FN, Hradec Králové, přednosta prof. MUDr. V. Palička, CSc.2 Oddělení výpočetní techniky, Ústav lékařské biofyziky LF UK, Hradec Králové, přednosta doc. Ing. J. Hanuš, CSc.3
Background: The risk of psychotic symptoms in methamphetamine dependent individuals is eleven times higher
as compared to the general population. Dopamine, which is one of the key neurotransmitters in etiopathogenesis
of psychosis, is metabolised by catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT). The COMT gene Val158Met polymorphism
changes activity of the COMT enzyme up to fourfold and thus influences the dopamine activity in the
brain. The aim of the study was to ascertain whether subjects dependent on methamphetamine with psychotic
symptoms significantly differ from methamphetamine dependent individuals without psychosis in the Val158Met
COMT genotype or allele frequency.
Methods: Methamphetamine dependent inpatients who had signed the informed consent were enrolled into the
study.We assessed psychotic symptoms according to the ICD-10 classification of mental disorders (Dgs F15.50 to
F15.53). The COMT genotype was detected by the PCR (polymerase chain reaction).
Results: Eighty-three patients (25 women) at the age of 18–38 years (median 22 years) dependent on methamphetamine
entered the study. We found psychotic symptoms in 18 subjects (8 women). No significant association
between psychosis in methamphetamine dependence and the Val158Met COMT genotype or allele frequency
was proved (P = N.S.; Fisher´s Exact Test).
Conclusions: Our results may have been influenced by the joint assessment of males and females in one sample,
hidden ethnic stratification or interaction of the Val158Met COMT gene polymorphism with other genes
and environmental factors.
methamphetamine dependence, psychosis, dopamine, catechol-O-methyltransferase; COMT gene